Israeli Transgender Contestants Ready for Finals

Contenders in Israel’s first transgender pageant have been polishing their moves this week ahead of Friday’s competition.

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Israela Stephanie Lev, Organizer of Miss Trans Israel

The 12 finalists are aiming to become Israel’s first “Miss Trans Israel.” They have spent long hours this week practicing their routines, strutting in stiletto heels and modeling evening gowns and swim wear.

The competition is more than a show of beauty and pride.

It also is a display of coexistence and tolerance, bringing together contestants from Israel’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. The contestants describe themselves as a family of sorts, saying they find strength in one another.

“I’m happy that the competition is bringing together all of the ethnic groups, and together they are a model of coexistence,” said Israela Stephanie Lev, the pageant’s organizer. “I hope this model can be an example for our society, for the Middle East and the world.”

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