Miss Universe pageant's trans owner delivers powerful speech

Jakkaphong Anne Jakrajutatip became the first woman to own the contest in October, after purchasing it for €20 million.

A photo of Jakkaphong Anne Jakrajutatip at the Miss Universe pageant.
Image: Via Twitter: @annejknofficial

The new owner of the Miss Universe pageant shared an impactful message in her speech at this year’s show. Held in New Orleans, Louisiana, over the past weekend, the pageant saw 84 women from across the globe compete for the crown. Model and designer R’Bonney Gabriel, who held the title of Miss USA, won the Miss Universe title at the competition.
The pinnacle moment of the event came from the Miss Universe owner, trans activist Jakkaphong Anne Jakrajutatip, in her speech to the audience. Jakrajutatip welcomed a new era for the pageant, saying “it has been 70 years that the Miss Universe organisation has been run by men. But now, time is up. [It] is the moment really for women to take the lead.”

The Thai celebrity continued: “From now on, it’s gonna be run by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world to celebrate the power of feminism.”

Talking about the importance of making Miss Universe more inclusive, the trans activist said: “Diverse cultures, social inclusion, gender equality, [and] creativity,” are things she describes as “a force for good.”

She also referenced the many hardships she had faced as a young trans woman, including bullying and harassment. However, the JKN Global Group’s CEO stated that she “chose not to surrender,” adding that “I turned pain into power, and I turned life lessons into wisdom.”

Jakrajutatip made history by becoming the first woman to own the global pageant after she purchased the company that owns the contest for €20 million in October 2022. During her tenure as owner, her goal for the organisation is to elevate women, making them “feel strong enough, good enough, qualified enough.”

The established business executive is famous in the country for her appearances in reality television series such as Project Runway and Shark Tank. She also manages an organisation that advocates for visibility and equality for trans people, called Life Inspired for Transsexuals Foundation.

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