The Miss Hercules pageant near Oakland, California accepted the first transgender contender for this year’s competition, sending an unprecedented message of openness, reports ABS-CBN News.
15-year-old Brandon Sooksampan, who is of Laotian descent, hopes her participation will bring awareness of the trans community. She also looks up to Caitlyn Jenner and Geena Rocero as role models.
Filipino American Richard White, president of the Miss Hercules Organization, said he was surprised to see Sooksampan’s application, but welcomed it.
“Everybody said why not?” said White. “If the Miss Universe Organization accepts transgenders; if the Olympics accepts transgenders; the NCAA, and the Girl Scouts of America accept transgenders – why can’t we?”
You can read some comments from Sooksampan about why she is running and reaction from his mother in ABS-CBN News.