The recognition, the 21-year-old said, would reinvigorate her determination to promote understanding and acceptance for the transgender community back in her country, "which is not as liberal as Thailand in terms of accepting the third gender."
Balot, a nursing graduate from Far Eastern University, will receive $10,000 (Bt310,000) and other prizes and gifts. She gave an impressive performance during the question and answer segment in the final round, which helped clinch the crown.
As the competition drew to a close Friday evening, the heat could be felt backstage. The contestants opened up before journalists how difficult life is for transgender and transsexuals.
"I was five years old when boys started to push me away because I looked a little different," Imanni Da Silva from Angola said, adding that bullying and discrimination continued back home.