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A trans beauty contest seeks acceptance in Mexico

It was the second edition of the contest, initiated in an effort to make transgender women more visible and accepted in Mexican society, where it has been seen to be one of the most dangerous places for these people

Contestants in the Miss Transgender Beauty pageant, from the Mexican states of Puebla, front left, and Colima stand during the opening event in Mexico City

Contestants in the Miss Transgender Beauty pageant, from the Mexican states of Puebla, front left, and Colima stand during the opening event in Mexico City, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

AP | Lissette Romero and Michael Krumholtz

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The contestants of the beauty pageant paraded in red swimsuits toured the stage with dizzying neckline evening dresses and answered questions about climate change and human rights.

Leer en español: Un concurso de belleza trans busca aceptación en México

After four hours and a brief protest on stage by a contestant who was defeated, a young brunette from the western state of Colima took the crown. Ivanna Cázares smiled when she heard that she had won Miss Trans de Belleza México 2019.

It was the second edition of the contest, initiated in an effort to make transgender women more visible and accepted in Mexican society. Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for transgender people: 261 transgender women were killed between 2013 and 2018, according to a local LGBT rights group, Letra S.

The event offered a weekend full of glamor and brightness, in which the contestants wore regional clothes and elaborated makeup. Miss Colima showed an indigenous themed costume with leopard print and feathers, while Miss Baja California wore a design of grapes on her clothes alluding to the vineyards of her state.

In total, 21 beauty queens represented different Mexican states in the three-part competition. They were judged by the parade in swimsuits, regional costumes, and formal dresses.

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Cázares, 27, defeated Miss Baja California, which came in second place, and Miss Mexico City, which was third.

Cázares said that the most difficult part of her transition, started three years ago, was getting acceptance from other people, although she always had support from her family. She has a degree in communication and has a beauty salon.

Now, with the title of Miss, she thinks of herself as a spokeswoman for the trans community.

"We want to take a message to society, respecting the trans girls of Mexico," Cázares told The Associated Press while trying to keep the big crown on her head.

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