Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico unite in surprise marriage


Sydney Queen

The marriage announcement sparked abundant positive responses on social media towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico of Miss Grand International 2020 announced their marriage on Instagram, three days after they were wed on Oct 28. 

“Después de decidir mantener en privacidad nuestra relacion, les abrimos las puertas en un día especial 28/10/22” (“After deciding to keep our relationship private, we open the doors on a special day 10/28/22”) reads the caption of their joint post. 

Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín were two of sixty-three contestants who competed in Thailand for the title of Miss Grand International. MGI is a Thai pageant that prides itself on highlighting “Body, Beauty, and Brains,” and encourages contestants to showcase their unique qualities and be role models for women around the world.

“I felt really happy that it is getting broadcasted, because a lot of that stuff is not put out there and it’s closed off by a lot of people. I felt that it’s really good for their life to be accepted and talked about in that way for representation,” said GSA Additional Officer Alexis Volking (‘23).

For centuries, the pageant industry has been notoriously intolerant of anything that deviates from the standard. A common criticism is the lack of diversity, from how the models look to the opinions they hold. MGI and these two brave women are aiming to change that.

“People will be more open to who they are, and not force themselves to be closed off with other people or be afraid to get kicked out of the industries if they show too much of their sexuality,” said Volking.

Since the competition, Varela and Valentin posted numerous pictures together on social media. Fans thought nothing of it at the time; the couple were assumed to be nothing more than close friends.

“The thought that people have to hide their queerness is really sad and unfortunate, but this is great because it’s really open and everyone was very welcoming to them and it was amazing that they were just so ready to show the world who they are and it’s okay to not be hidden,” said GSA event planner Charli Gren (‘23).

The response on social media has been overwhelmingly positive. The comment sections of both women have been flooded with support for their relationship, a great relief for many LGBTQ+ onlookers. 

“Omg congratulations MGI brought together a beautiful union,” said Miss Grand International 2020 Abena Akuaba.

“Felicidades hermosas, dios bendiga su unión y que viva el amor!!!”(Congratulations beautiful, God bless your union and long live love!!!) said Miss Grand International 2019 Valentina Figura in a comment. 

Representation has been a hot topic in the media for decades, however the pageant industry has mostly brushed it off. Varela and Valentín’s announcement forced the issue into the limelight once again.

“I believe this could encourage many young queer people to get out there more and try things that they never thought they would have because of fear and oppression, and it could really encourage people to come out of their shell,” said Gren.

The initial post on Oct. 30 received over 430,000 likes on Instagram, along with 14,000 comments congratulating the couple on their marriage. The individual followings of Valentín and Varela also dramatically increased with their announcement, and fans remain optimistic about the implications of this grand, double coming-out.

“The representation it has caused is us being seen, and being heard, and for people to know that we are here still and our love is not going anywhere,” said Volking.