Turkey's First Transgender Beauty Contest

7.2.2014

By Out.com Editors

In this secular Muslim country, participation in a beauty contest remains an act of defiance and courage.

Photography by Furkan Temir

It isn't illegal to be gay or transgender in Turkey, but LGBT people still face regular violence and discrimination. A beauty pageant held in Istanbul formed part of a week-long celebration of LGBT events in June in defiance of that persecution, notes the Daily Mail. Over 500 people were in attendance for the 13 competitors, according to sources. Although there was an air of celebration, there was also trepidation since, according to LGBT Turkey, over 70 trans people have been killed in Turkey since 2002. Thanks to Furkan Temir for these photos of some very brave ladies.

Backstage, the magic happens — with help from some friends.

Glamour gets a rise out of a spirited crowd.

Walking proudly despite of current conditions in Istanbul.

Always time for a selfie

Poise and confidence matter.

A moment of reflection

A range of gender presentation was welcome.

A quick moment backstage between numbers.

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