To Joen Romero-Martinez, beauty is not just something that is only seen on the outside, but something that portrays who you are as a person by how you present yourself. He shares with us his own story of how he became the person he is today which gave him the passion and desire to help. Joen grew up in Venezuela as a closeted gay man being raised by a single mother. He was surrounded by his two grandmothers, sisters and cousins, all powerful, strong women. He explains the hardships he dealt with internally, while not having the ability to be honest with himself and those around him until, at the age of 24, he was finally able to come out of the closet and be open about who he really was. He tells us, “I feel that I am a very confident man now, as honest and direct as I can be with people and I feel that once I realized who I really was, that power came with it.”
As director of Teen Universe Arizona, Joen will continue helping young women figure out who they are, how to become leaders, and how they can carry forward and help others. He strives to alter the image people have on beauty pageants. Joen’s Teen Universe Arizona is a beauty pageant with a cause – one he hopes will create a domino effect by inspiring the young women to give back and serve as role models for those in future pageants.