Photo: Facebook/Ivanna Cázares
News and Entertainment

Mexico Crowns Miss Trans Beauty and This is the Kind of Visibility We Need

On Monday, 21 transgender beauty queens from various Mexican states participated in a three-part beauty competition held in Mexico City, to increase transgender visibility in a country known for its violence against the trans community.

Ivanna Cázares, from the state of Colima, took home the crown as Miss Trans Beauty Mexico 2019 with second place going to Miss Baja California and Miss Mexico City placing in third. In its second year, the annual pageant was created in an effort to promote acceptance of trans people in Mexico. According to local LGBTQ+ rights group Letra S, Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the trans community with 261 trans women killed from 2013 to 2018, Mexico News Daily reports.

Miss Colima, 27, wore an indigenous-themed costume with leopard print and feathers, while Miss Baja California’s costume featured grapes, a nod to her state’s wine vineyards. The first Miss Trans Beauty, Brenda Contreras was also in attendance.

The violence against the LGBTQ+ community has increased in the country since gay marriage became legal in Mexico City in 2010 (however, not all states in Mexico have legalized gay marriage). According to a report from the Cornell Law School LGBT Clinic and the Transgender Law Center released in May 2016, there are “no federal laws that explicitly protect transgender individuals from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.”


Even in Juchitán de Zaragoza — a rural town in Oaxaca — where trans people, known as “muxe” are praised, their lifestyle is still not widely accepted nor formally recognized. “This new generation has muxes who are doctors, engineers, and lawyers – people who are fulfilled and successful, and who can dress and wear women’s clothing. In today’s world you can do it all — be dressed, wear heels and still have a career,” Amerika Pineda tells Narratively.

The Cornell Law School report also states that in 2002, the city of Tecate prohibited “men dressed as women in public spaces” which was marked as “infractions against morality.” As a result, there was a dramatic increase in police harassment towards local trans women.
“Transgender women in Mexico face brutal violence not only from private citizens but also from state officials. Police officers and the military subject transgender women to arrest, extortion, and physical abuse. Many transgender women have been victims of police violence or know someone who has been a victim,” the report cites. The newly crowned Miss Trans Beauty, Ivanna Cázares, believes acceptance was the most difficult part of her transition though she’s always been supported by her family. “We want to bring a message to society of respect for the trans girls of Mexico,” Cázares told The Associated Press.
Here’s to more trans visibility and acceptance in Mexico – as well as other parts of the world. We can’t wait to see what Cázares has in store as Miss Trans Beauty.