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Photos From the 2016 Trans Nation Beauty Pageant

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Photos From the 2016 Trans Nation Beauty Pageant

Post by Admin on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:04 am



When I arrived Saturday at the historic Ace Hotel Theater for the the Queen USA Trans Beauty Pageant, the place was overflowing with L.A.'s hippest and most glamorous LGBTQ fashionistas. The sounds of trans women decked out in fancy cocktail dresses double-cheek kissing and greeting long-time friends echoed through the lobby.

The pageant is now in its 15th year, but this year felt particularly special. With the success of the Emmy-winning television show Transparent and stars like Caitlyn Jenner coming out, trans issues are finally being recognized by the mainstream media now more than ever.


Since the event is at heart a competition of evening wear, swimwear, and a Q&A, I assumed the vibe between the 35 contestants would be cold and cut-throat. I could not have been more wrong. Everyone was giggling; women were sharing bobby pins and helping each other zip up. It was like The Great British Baking Show of pageants. "I hope you win." "No, I hope you win."

Of course, at a trans beauty pageant, there is still an emphasis on looks, bodies, and makeup that ruffles the feathers of some. But despite all that, publicly celebrating and appreciating trans women is still a radical concept in our society. Tragically, trans people are still widely oppressed and brutalized all over the world. So watching a trans woman strut her stuff in a sparkly outfit that would make Cher proud is not just fluffy entertainment; it's a political act. It's a rallying cry for respect, appreciation, and dignity.

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