Mela Habijan calls for ‘healing’ amid viral Pinoy-Thai transgender brawl

March 7, 2024 - 5:17 PM
Mela Habijan
Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan in this photo taken by Dave Graciadas and posted on her Instagram on Nov. 20, 2023 (missmelahabijan/Instagram)

“Let this conflict be a reminder on how violence destroys.”

First Miss Trans Global winner Mela Habijan condemned the violence that occurred between Filipino and Thai transgenders who figured in a viral brawl in Bangkok’s red light district last Monday.

Videos of Pinoys and Thai transwomen fighting each other have been circulating on social media earlier this week.

Reports said police were called to break up a fight between about 20 Filipino transgenders and four Thai transgenders inside a restaurant in Soi Sukhumvit 11 near Nana BTS station in Thailand’s capital on March 4.

The two factions have allegedly fought in the past, although this was the first time it led to physical violence.

A report from the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok received by the Department of Foreign Affairs noted that two Pinoy transgenders were being investigated by the Thai police for assault and battery, with a hearing set for Friday, March 8.

Three Filipinos sustained scratches, while a fourth Filipino, who was merely a bystander, got entangled and sustained the most injuries in the face and head after being attacked by a mob of Thais.

Prior to that, more than a hundred Thai transgender sex workers reportedly gathered outside a hotel where Filipinos were checked in due to a “turf war.”

The situation turned chaotic when Pinoys were brought out of the hotel and the Thai mob breached the police line.

Local reports citing the Thai transgender group said that they were walking past their Pinoy counterparts when the latter began to stomp and hurl abuses at them. The Filipinos also tried to shoo the Thais away.

The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok said that the Filipinos were all tourists and that the Thai police were investigating if they were illegally working in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Mela called for “healing” and “reconciliation” between the two parties following the incident.

“It breaks my heart to receive the news about the violence that occurred between our Thai and Filipino trans sisters. I have limited information about what happened or what transpired [in] the conflict, but seeing a few videos was truly painful,” she wrote on the X platform on Thursday, March 7.

“Let this conflict be a reminder on how violence destroys. Any form of violence (whether physical, verbal, or emotional) is inhumane and unjust. I am praying for justice to prevail, for healing, and for reconciliation between our trans sisters involved in this issue,” Mela added.

She also said that the issue should not be used by transphobic people to air their hatred, saying they were “passing mean judgments and amplifying their hasty generalizations and ad hominem.”

“Yes, let’s condemn the act of violence, but pinning down on trans women is an act of violence in itself,” the trans rights advocate concluded.

Miss International Queen Top 6 Lars Pacheco, a trans celebrity, also called for her fellow Pinoys to be “respectful” after learning of the incident.

“Whatever may be the reason for the fiasco, I love Filipinos but we are not in our country. So the only option that we have is to be respectful,” she said on TikTok.

“Imagine, 20 Filipinos versus 5 Thai. That is unfair when it comes to fight… And also, wala tayo sa bansa natin, ang tanging kailangan lang nating gawin diyan is maging respectful tayo. Makisama tayo kasi tayo lang ‘yung nakikipwesto diyan,” Lars added.

“It’s a basic etiquette that if you are not in your country, you should act [accordingly],” she continued.

The trans personality also said she does not support any form of violence.