After her friends were killed in transphobic attacks at home in Brazil, Ariella Moura’s aim was to make a statement against gender discrimination on Saturday at the world’s top transgender pageant in Thailand.
The annual Miss Tiffany’s Universe pageant brings together 21 international contestants showcasing their beauty but also spreading a defiant message for equality from across the globe.
The pageant’s winner, Mexico’s Valentina Fluchaire, was presented her sash and tiara by Jazelle Barbie Royale of the United States, who took the prize in 2019.
But for 22-year-old Moura, who was one of the night’s finalists, the evening was about far more than performing well.
“People are open-minded in Brazil for a lot of things, but it is a big country… and for sexuality people are discriminated (against) a lot. I know a lot of friends who were murdered,” said Moura, who was crowned Miss Trans Brazil in 2019.