It’s not her first beauty pageant and previously she had won few of them in her home city Los Angeles, USA.
But this time it was a new level, and her lifelong dream to compete in an international beauty pageant has finally completed. This's about Camille Anderson that last March has represented the US in the largest global transgender pageant Miss International Queen. Even if the crown was given to the Thai contestant Mo Jiratchaya, Anderson found this experience emotional and unforgettable. As Camille (her pageant name) told to CNN interview, she felt nervous and intimidated. “You walk in heels day and night. It's like a test,” she said, still adding that all contestants have to be able handle that, because they are going to be in the spotlight.
It's also nine intensive days of glamorous photo shoots, meetings, costume fittings, media interviews and rehearsals. “Whatever happens, this is an experience I will never forget,” Anderson said.
And twenty-five years ago she had been Mark Cordeta, an effeminate boy living in Tacloban City, Philippines. He preferred spending time mostly with girls and at the age from 8 or 9 he was sneaking into his mother's closet to try on her clothes. His pious Catholic family noticed that he was different, and they were inclined to believe that he was gay. But they preferred not to discuss that. Anderson says that she always felt like she was different and describes her childhood as confusing time. She says that it was like ‘don't ask, don't tell' situation, where everyone avoid talking about this topic, and she was always afraid about her family's opinion.
For the same reason trying to avoid being bullied by peers and schoolmates, he decided to stay Mark hiding his true self and trying to act straight. But since he immigrated with parents to the United States at the age of 21 he started demonstrating his femininity in public more often. Two years later, he was ready for transition and to become woman. And so gradually through the hormone therapy and some cosmetic procedures, Mark officially became Kim.
At first, during transitioning she had to distance herself from her parents because she had acting differently around them than with friends. But eventually they changed their views and became supportive towards her.
And a few years later, in 2013 in a lovely outdoor ceremony Anderson married her boyfriend Marco Hudec. Speaking of which, exactly her husband encouraged her to take part in beauty pageants. Anderson, who lives now in Torrance, California and works as registered nurse, also admits that her husband believes in her more than herself, and she would never feel confident enough for pageants without his support. During next two years she proved to be natural. Camille has been crowned in three local and national pageants: Miss Los Angeles Pride 2014, Queen USA 2014 and Queen of the Universe 2015.
Speaking about visibility of transgender community Anderson says that voices of trans people are being heard now more than before and at the same moment “there also are a lot of people who will hate, so you have to stay strong.”
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