6 Stunning Photos From The First Miss Trans Israel Pageant

Talleen Abu Hanna won Israel's first transgender beauty pageant in Tel Aviv. The Christian Arab ballerina from Nazareth calls her Miss Trans Israel win a show of the country's potential.

"Our country allowed me, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, to end the war between my soul and my body," Abu Hanna told reporters, according to Reuters. "So if it made peace for me, our country is only a country of peace."

Orthodox Jews and Muslims were among the 12 contestants; organizers, judges, and contestants alike expressed hope that the pageant would demonstrate what acceptance should look like. Although Israel allows gay and transgender people to serve openly in the military, they often still experience the same kind of violent opposition to their freedom seen elsewhere.
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"Israeli people like transgenders but they don't have enough information about transgenders," pageant judge Efrat Tilma told Reuters.

Abu Hanna will go on to represent her country in the Miss Trans Star International pageant in Barcelona in September. Ahead, see what went on behind the scenes and on stage at the pageant.
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Photo: AP/Oded Balilty.
Contestants pose for the swimsuit round of Miss Trans Israel.
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Photo: AP/Oded Balilty.
Talleen Abu Hanna, a ballerina from Nazareth, gets her makeup done backstage.
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Photo: AP/Oded Balilty.
This is not the "denim round" but rather a rehearsal for the pageant.
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Photo: AP/Oded Balilty.
Backstage, the tension is high and the curling irons are hot.
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Photo: AP/Oded Balilty.
A Miss Trans contestant gets her cat-eye done just right.
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Photo: AP/Oded Balilty.
Abu Hanna wins Miss Trans Israel.
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