Miriam Rivera

Last updated

Miriam Rivera
Born1981 (1981)
Mexico [1]
Died(2019-02-05)5 February 2019 (aged 38) [2]
Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico [2]
Other namesVictoria, Miriam Rivera, Miriam Xtravaganza, Miriam, Miriam D'Abo
OccupationModel, actress, reality television personality
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight121 lb (55 kg)
Spouse(s)Daniel Cuervo [2]

Miriam Rivera (1981 – 5 February 2019), known by the mononym Miriam, was a Mexican transgender model who appeared on the reality television shows There's Something About Miriam and Big Brother Australia 2004 . She became recognized as the first openly-trans reality-television star. [2] Miriam also modelled and using the name Victoria, performed in pornography. [3] She was found dead in February 2019 at her apartment in Mexico.

Transgender Gender identity that does not match assigned sex

Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as transsexual. Transgender – often shortened as trans – is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex, it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine. Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or else conceptualize transgender people as a third gender. The term transgender may be defined very broadly to include cross-dressers.

Reality television genre of television programming that documents unscripted situations and actual occurrences

Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unknown individuals rather than professional actors. Reality television came to prominence in the late 1990s and the early 2000s with the global successes of the series Survivor, Idols, and Big Brother, all of which became global franchises. Reality television shows tend to be interspersed with "confessionals", short interview segments in which cast members reflect on or provide context for the events being depicted on-screen. Competition-based reality shows typically feature gradual elimination of participants, either by a panel of judges or by the viewership of the show.

There's Something About Miriam is a reality television show filmed in 2003, created by British TV producer Remy Blumenfeld and Gavin Hay and originally aired in the United Kingdom on Sky1 in February 2004. Hosted by Tim Vincent, it featured six men wooing 21-year-old Mexican model Miriam without revealing that she was transgender until the final episode.


Life and career

Miriam, who was born male, was born in 1981 in Mexico and desired a sex change to female at the age of four. She said that while her three brothers liked baseball, she preferred Barbie dolls. [4] Miriam said strangers assumed she was a girl:

Baseball team sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing it to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Barbie fashion doll brand manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc.

Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

They used to come to my mother and say, "Oh you have a beautiful daughter", and my mother used to say "That's my son", and I used to get angry. And I have always been attracted to men. When I was 11, I met someone who's gay and start talking to me about hormones, which I got very interested in. [5]

Miriam said she soon started taking hormones. She told reporters she came out after being suspended from school at age 12, and her family was supportive. [6]

Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor for LGBT people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. The term coming out can also be used in various non-LGBT applications.

In 1999, Miriam posed for a transgender website and performed under the name Victoria in pornographic videos produced by Androgeny Productions and released from 2000. [3]

TV shows

Remy Blumenfeld, first saw Miriam participating in a girl band after which he planned to star her in a TV show that was later released as There's Something About Miriam . [7] She was filmed in Ibiza for There's Something About Miriam in 2003, but the show's airdate was delayed until out-of-court settlement of litigation by contestants in 2004. Originally aired in the United Kingdom on Sky1 in February 2004. Hosted by Tim Vincent, it featured six men wooing 21-year-old Mexican model Miriam without revealing that she was transgender until the final episode. Miriam enjoyed the attention she received following the show. [8]

Ibiza Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea

Ibiza is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. It is 150 kilometres from the city of Valencia. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. Its largest settlements are Ibiza Town, Santa Eulària des Riu, and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Its highest point, called Sa Talaiassa, is 475 metres above sea level.

Tim Vincent actor, TV presenter

Tim Vincent is a Welsh actor and television presenter. He appeared on the children's programme Blue Peter between 1993 and 1997 and has presented several Miss World contests. For several years, Vincent was based in the United States where he presented some mainstream shows such as Access Hollywood and Phenomenon.

After the high ratings for the show, she was cast as a guest on Big Brother Australia 2004 , also produced by Endemol. A documentary about her life was commissioned but not aired. [9]

She had stated she did not plan to have sex reassignment surgery, citing concerns about complications or loss of sensation. [5] "My mother always says to me, 'Why would you want to be half-and-half? Why don't you want to be a complete woman?' But I just love myself and I'm really enjoying my life." [10]

The New York Post reported that Miriam was seriously injured in 2007 when she was thrown out of a third-story window at her home. [11] Miriam later told reporters she fell out of a fourth-story window while trying to escape a burglar. [12] In 2008, she was a special guest on Ewa Drzyzga's TVN show Rozmowy w toku in Poland. In more recent years, Miriam Rivera was active in Manhattan's ball culture. [13]

Personal life and death

Miriam was married to Daniel Cuervo, with whom she lived in New York City. [13] She was found dead on 5 February 2019, in her apartment in Mexico. [7] Her death was confirmed by her husband in a Facebook post and received news coverage six months later. [2] [7] While her death has been classified as suicide by hanging by the police, her husband believes she was murdered after he received a death threat from someone who told him to "never come back to Mexico" and not prepare her funeral. [14]


See also

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  1. "Goza transexual mexicano popularidad en Europa Sábado". El Manana (in Spanish). 21 February 2009. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Miriam es mexicana y es de Hermosillo
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Merrett, Robyn (9 August 2019). "Miriam Rivera, the First Openly Trans Reality Star, Dead at 38". People .
  3. 1 2 "Bob's Tgirls". bobstgirls.com.
  4. "Dinner Date—Miriam," Rachael Popow, Press Association, 25 February 2004.
  5. 1 2 Miriam, There's something about Miriam, Episode 1, (aired February 22, 2004).
  6. Agencia Reforma (28 August 2004). La transexual mas bella del planeta según revista anglosajona. New Magazine.
  7. 1 2 3 "Miriam Rivera, reality TV's first trans star, found dead at 38". BBC News. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. "Miriam's glad to be recognised". BBC. 20 February 2004. Archived from the original on 5 December 2004.
  9. Mutel, Glen (19 February 2004). prepares to bare all in doc about 'her' life. Broadcast
  10. "Miriam Opts Out Of Op," Sky One.
  11. Johnson, Richard; Froelich, Paula; Hoffmann, Bill; Steindler, Corynne (4 October 2007). "Miriam ducks 'miriam' bow". New York Post. p. 1. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013.
  12. Nichols, Mackenzie (9 August 2019). "Miriam Rivera, First Transgender Reality TV Star, Dies at 38". Variety. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  13. 1 2 Jessica Napoli (10 August 2019). "Miriam Rivera, first transgender reality TV star, dead at 38". Fox News. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  14. Napoli, Jessica (10 August 2019). "Miriam Rivera, first transgender reality TV star, dead at 38". Fox News. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  15. "Fox Reality to debut UK's 'There's Something About Miriam' October 31". Reality TV World. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  16. "Merlin's silent protest". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 10 August 2019.