Israel Just Hosted Its First Transgender Beauty Pageant

Israel Just Hosted Its First Transgender Beauty Pageant
Source: AP
Source: AP

On Friday, 12 finalists will compete for the title of Miss Trans Israel in the country's first transgender beauty pageant.  

According to NBC News, the winner of the pageant will go on to compete in Miss Trans Star International in Barcelona, where she can vie for the grand prize of a $15,000 gender reassignment procedure. 

As 24-year-old Caroline Khouri rehearsed for the big night, she told NBC of the comfort she feels being among other trans women. She recalled how when she decided to make her transition, her family physically abused and starved her. 

"My cousins, my father, my brother-in-law all came and beat me and took me by force and cut my hair, tied me to the bed and left me there for three days with no food," Khouri said. 

Read more: How a Natural Hair Beauty Pageant Morphed Into a Platform for Female Entrepreneurs


On Thursday, the 12 contestants practiced their walks during a rehearsal.
Source: 
Oded Balilty/AP

But while the pageant is primarily a celebration of trans identity in the face of adversity, Khouri told NBC the event has also served to unite women of different religious backgrounds amid the political unrest that plagues Israel.

"Here I don't feel Muslim, Jewish, Christian," she said. "All of the people are together and the transsexual [people], they love together."

Pageant judge Efrat Tilma, who identified as one of the country's first openly trans women in the 1960s, added, "We can show the world that we are really for peace, this competition is for peace."

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

How the media covers “honor killings” reveals a double standard against women of different religions

Experts say these deaths should be viewed as acts of domestic violence.

Muslim bus driver in Atlanta is suing elementary school principal for discrimination

Twanesia Crawford alleges she was not allowed in Hope Hill Elementary School because she was praying on her school bus.

Kamala Harris' first signature bill attempts to end discriminatory "money bail" systems

The California senator introduced a bipartisan bill that would give millions in grants to states that individualize the pretrial release process.

People are sharing this video of John McCain defending Obama against scared white people in 2008

The video is meant to celebrate McCain's decency. But what really happened is more troubling.

GOP Senator defends hijab-wearing opponent from anti-Muslim abuse

Police are now escorting the Muslim Senate candidate to public events in response to the online abuse and hate mail.

Cults have a long history of exploiting black women

Black women have been exploited by cultic relationships for years. But this fact is often overlooked.

How the media covers “honor killings” reveals a double standard against women of different religions

Experts say these deaths should be viewed as acts of domestic violence.

Muslim bus driver in Atlanta is suing elementary school principal for discrimination

Twanesia Crawford alleges she was not allowed in Hope Hill Elementary School because she was praying on her school bus.

Kamala Harris' first signature bill attempts to end discriminatory "money bail" systems

The California senator introduced a bipartisan bill that would give millions in grants to states that individualize the pretrial release process.

People are sharing this video of John McCain defending Obama against scared white people in 2008

The video is meant to celebrate McCain's decency. But what really happened is more troubling.

GOP Senator defends hijab-wearing opponent from anti-Muslim abuse

Police are now escorting the Muslim Senate candidate to public events in response to the online abuse and hate mail.

Cults have a long history of exploiting black women

Black women have been exploited by cultic relationships for years. But this fact is often overlooked.