Bravery and Advocacy
She is a pioneer for LGBTQ rights in Myanmar. And she is a supermodel who has made an impact on film and television. Myo Ko Ko San comes from Mandalay. Just 24 years-old, Myo has already seen her fame spread beyond Myanmar—the country once known as Burma. She now is a regular presenter and advocate for LGBTQ issues. Myo believes, “it’s noble to contribute to society, and I’m happy and grateful when people judge my actions without gender discrimination.”
Myo won the Miss International Queen Myanmar 2014. Despite some initial doubts from her family, they quickly came to understand her motivations and real desires. Myo made use of her pageant victory to let people know she wanted “people's thinking of LGBT issues to change.” Since then, she has gone on to advance the cause at venues throughout Southeast Asia.
In 2013, Myo completed her gender confirmation surgery. Most recently, in 2018, she was the recipient of an award from the ASEAN-LGBT Community Pride Awards. Myo emerged victorious in the online poll in a close contest with the nominee from Vietnam. LGBTQ activists in Burma consider the win significant, because Vietnam is a country where transgender people already are widely accepted. Many observers consider it the most LGBTQ friendly country in the region. For a transgender woman from Myanmar to win means attitudes towards LGBTQ people continue to change in that country. Myo Ko Ko San will continue to stand at the forefront among those pressing for even more acceptance and tolerance of transgender rights.