• Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

    Cavite News

    Upholding Truth

    Cavite Beauty Hershey Hernandez Crowned Miss Mardi Gras International Queen 2024

    Hershey Hernandez, a 25-year-old transgender woman from Cavite, Philippines, has won the prestigious title of Miss Mardi Gras International Queen 2024 in Sydney, Australia.

    The pageant, which celebrates the beauty, talent, and diversity of the LGBTQI+ community, was held on February 24 at the Orion Function Center in Campsie, NSW. It featured nine candidates from across the Asia-Pacific region, representing countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and various states in Australia.

    Hernandez, who represented Cavite in the Philippines, impressed the judges and the audience with her stunning evening gown, her witty answer in the Q&A portion, and her captivating performance of a Filipino folk dance. She also received the Best in National Costume award for her colorful and creative outfit inspired by the Philippine flag.

    Hernandez received the coveted crown and sash from the outgoing Miss Mardi Gras International Queen 2023, Jolina Magdangal from Thailand. She also received a cash prize of $10,000 and a trip to New York City to attend the World Pride Parade in June.

    The first runner-up was Melanie Ngo from Vietnam, who was also named Miss Mardi Gras Rainbow Princess. The second runner-up was Nur Sajat from Malaysia, who was also awarded Miss Mardi Gras Pink Triangle Princess.

    The pageant, which is now on its 14th year, was organized by the Filipino Gay and Lesbian Community or FLAGCOM & Friends, a non-profit organization that aims to promote awareness and advocacy on issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community. The event also supported the Australian AIDS Council (ACON), a health promotion organization that provides information and services on HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care.

    The pageant was part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival, an annual celebration of LGBTQI+ culture and pride that runs from February 17 to March 5. The festival features various events such as parties, concerts, exhibitions, workshops, and the iconic Mardi Gras Parade, which attracts thousands of spectators and participants every year.

    Hernandez, who is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management from the Lyceum of the Philippines University, said that she was honored and grateful to win the title and to represent her country and the LGBTQI+ community.

    “I dedicate this victory to all the transgender women who are fighting for their rights, dignity, and acceptance in the society. I hope that through this pageant, we can show the world that we are beautiful, talented, and worthy of respect and love,” she said.

    She also thanked her family, friends, supporters, and the local government of General Trias City for their encouragement and assistance. She said that she was proud to bring honor and pride to her hometown and to the Philippines.

    The local government of General Trias City, led by Mayor Luis A. Ferrer IV, congratulated Hernandez for her achievement and expressed their support for her advocacy.