Israel holds auditions for its first transgender beauty pageant

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

15 PHOTOS
Miss Trans Israel
See Gallery
Israel holds auditions for its first transgender beauty pageant
Contestants wait for their call during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestant Shani Zohar walks the catwalk for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants wait for their call during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A contestant walks the catwalk during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. Tel Aviv has emerged as one of the world's most gay-friendly travel destinations recently. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestant Arab Israeli Tallinn Abu Hana have her measures taken for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestant Elian Nesiel poses for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants Elian Nesiel walks the catwalk during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants wait for their call during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants pose for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants pose for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants wait for their call during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Arab Israeli contestant Tallinn Abu Hana poses for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants walk the catwalk during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Contestants pose for the judges during auditions for the first Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The winner will represent Israel at a Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Spain in August. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Israel has emerged as one of the most progressive Middle Eastern countries concerning LGBT rights, letting openly gay people serve in the military and recognizing gay marriages from other countries.

Thirty contestants strutted their stuff on Thursday to get the chance to compete in Israel's first Miss Trans pageant taking place in May.

Talleen Abu Hanna, 21, told the Associated Press she auditioned for the pageant because she wanted to do something with her life.

"I have this something, I am a dancer, and I am a singer, I play the trumpet. I have something to give the people," Abu Hanna said.

Although Israel and other Middle Eastern countries still have a long way to go to catch up to other countries, the inaugural show increases trans visibility and gives trans women new opportunities in an otherwise restrictive region.

Here's How To Advance LGBT Rights Worldwide

More from AOL.com:
Photographer's clever way of showing love for his dog will melt your heart
NASA spots bizarre phenomenon on Pluto
Owner sparks controversy after posting sign in front of restaurant

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners