The annual Miss Gay and Transsexual Australia pageant is a wonder to behold. Beyond the glamour of the costumes and the danger of the sky-high heels worn by the contestants, is a sentiment and sense of occasion that almost moved me to tears the first time I attended this event two years ago.
The annual pageant is coined as "an alternative beauty pageant with a mission of promoting awareness for better understanding and acceptance of the transgender community", however it is so much more than that. The pageant commenced in 2010 and for many of the contestants is the one day of the year that they are celebrated, audibly cheered and embraced by the extended community. The transsexual community is still one of the most overlooked and marginalised, even within the gay, lesbian and bisexual community.
Whilst many families, cultures and communities are becoming increasingly accepting of their gay and lesbian members, unfortunately our transsexual counterparts are not making the same headway. This pageant offers male-to-female transsexuals the change to glam up, swan around and be celebrated in the bodies that they have worked hard to gain... and let me tell you, these women are stunning. The only thing that possible outshines the contestants are the completely over the top and fabulous costumes!
So set Saturday 31 January aside. Doors open at 6pm, with the pageant commencing at 7pm sharp. This is a family-friendly event, there is no nudity on stage or adult language. Annually the pageant brings in two surprise emcees who keep the night full of laughs and assist the more nervous contestants in their answers. New in 2015, this year's candidates will also talk about their chosen cause or charity, to which part of their winnings will be donated.