The beauty pageant that's open only to transgender women

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The Beauty Pageant That's Open Only to Transgender Women

Miss America, Miss Universe, Miss International ... Miss International Queen? It's probably not the type of beauty pageant you're imagining, and it's taking place Nov. 6.

This pageant has at least one characteristic that sets it apart from the others — it's a beauty competition dedicated to transgender women. In fact, the organization advertises itself as "the world's most prestigious and largest transgender women beauty pageant."

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The competition, which is in its 11th year, is in Thailand. In order to qualify, there are some pretty stringent rules for contestants. For example, they have to be natural born males between the ages of 18 and 36.

Last year, Venezuelan contestant, Isabella Santiago, won the competition after going up against 21 other contestants. It was also her first public appearance as a transgender woman.

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The beauty pageant that's open only to transgender women
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Transgender contestants compete during transgender beauty pageant Miss International Queen 2014 at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/06: Contestants for Miss Queen International 2014, Transgender beauty pageant during the loy krathong festival ceremony at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok before the 10th year anniversary contest to be held on 7th November at Tiffany's Show Theatre in Pattaya. The Loy Krathong, festival of lights is held according to the Thai lunar calendar at full moon on the twelfth month across Thailand and dates back more than 700 years. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/06: Contestants for Miss Queen International 2014, Transgender beauty pageant during the loy krathong festival ceremony at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok before the 10th year anniversary contest to be held on 7th November at Tiffany's Show Theatre in Pattaya. The Loy Krathong, festival of lights is held according to the Thai lunar calendar at full moon on the twelfth month across Thailand and dates back more than 700 years. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/10/21: Miss International Queen 2013, Marcelo Ohio from Brazil and Miss Tiffany's Universe Nissa Katerahong from Thailand pose for photographs during a press conference announcing the 10th Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant in Bangkok. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/06: Contestants for Miss Queen International , Transgender beauty pageant 2014 hold krathong before to float it into the Chao Phraya River, for the Thai annual Loy Krathong festival, in Bangkok before the 10th year anniversary contest to be held on 7th November at Tiffany's Show Theatre in Pattaya. The Loy Krathong, festival of lights is held according to the Thai lunar calendar at full moon on the twelfth month across Thailand and dates back more than 700 years. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/06: Contestants for Miss Queen International 2014, Transgender beauty pageant during the loy krathong festival ceremony at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok before the 10th year anniversary contest to be held on 7th November at Tiffany's Show Theatre in Pattaya. The Loy Krathong, festival of lights is held according to the Thai lunar calendar at full moon on the twelfth month across Thailand and dates back more than 700 years. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Contestant Lilia Kisaraji of Japan prepares backstage before the final show of the Miss International Queen 2014 transgender beauty pageant at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Contestant Kim Marie Villagalano of Philippines pose for photograph before the final show of the Miss International Queen 2014 transgender beauty pageant at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Transgender contestants compete during transgender beauty pageant Miss International Queen 2014 at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Contestant Lilia Kisaraji of Japan prepares backstage before the final show of the Miss International Queen 2014 transgender beauty pageant at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Contestant Samira Sitara of USA prepares backstage before the final show of the Miss International Queen 2014 transgender beauty pageant at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/08: Isabella Santiago of Venezuela speak with media after she was crowned transgender beauty pageant Miss International Queen 2014 at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city. Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2014/11/07: Isabella Santiago of Venezuela speak with media after she was crowned transgender beauty pageant Miss International Queen 2014 at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya city Contestants from 18 countries in the week-long event for the crown of Miss International Queen 2014, 10th year anniversary of Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant. (Photo by Piti A Sahakorn/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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And if you're wondering if the competition bears any semblance to the more mainstream competitions, like Miss Universe, it does. The pageant's guidelines advise contestants to bring several different contest outfits, including a nationality themed costume, swim suit, evening gown and talent outfit.

If you want to check out the competition, tune in to the live stream found on the Miss International Queen Facebook page.

More coverage of transgender issues:
Transgender woman challenges social media censorship by going topless
What being trans is like: A real-life story worth seeing
These beauty queens are fighting for transgender rights in the Philippines

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