"The reason why I want to join Miss International Queen 2015 is I believe in its vision of uplifting the trans community by staging an international beauty pageant and I want to be part of it," she said.
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Maristela ended up being the biggest part of it — the winner! The first runner-up was Valesca Dominik Ferraz from Brazil. The second runner-up was Sopida Siriwattananukoon from Thailand. Although we gotta say, there weresome interesting outfitsalong the way.
See more from the 2015 pageant:
Many of the more festive outfits came from the nationality-themed costume contest. There were also more traditional rounds, like swim suit and evening gown. Although even with swimsuits, we aren't sure about those hats.
Last year, Venezuelan contestant Isabella Santiago, won the competition.
More coverage of transgender issues:
Transgender woman challenges social media censorship by going topless
What being trans is like: A real-life story worth seeing
These beauty queens are fighting for transgender rights in the Philippines