By Jonathon Van Maren
On January 14, the new owner of Miss Universe took the stage wearing a lowcut dress, platform heels, and heavy makeup to make an announcement: “The Miss Universe organization … from now on, it’s gonna be ran by women.” There were roars of applause and cheering — many attendees rose to their feet. The Thai business owner went on: “Owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world to celebrate the power of feminism.”
The new owner of Miss Universe is actually a man — albeit one that, with heavy makeup and more than a little surgery, closely resembles a woman. Anne Jakrajutatip, the Thai CEO of JKN Global Group, had two children via a surrogate and wanted the audience at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center to know that his ownership signaled a new era for Miss Universe (one is tempted to add: Boy, and how.)
Jakrajutatip may be a biological male, but the 43-year-old wanted everyone to know: “It’s the moment, really, for women to take the lead … [We will stand for] diverse cultures, social inclusion, gender equality, creativity, a force for good and, of course, the beauty of humanity. When I was born, as a trans woman, who got bullied and sexually harassed by my own teacher when I was young, plus I was not accepted by society because they did not want to embrace my differences. But guess what? I chose not to surrender. I turned pain into power. And I turned life lessons into wisdom.”
Jakrajutatip paid $20 million for the Miss Universe pageant, and he appears intent on using it as a platform to promote transgender ideology. He says that he was inspired to get into media by Oprah Winfrey, who taught him an important lesson: “In order to gain respect, you need to have success.” While he plans to run the American beauty competition (which he insists is not objectifying but is instead about “empowering women” and “uplifting people”), he will continue his transgender activism in Thailand.