PHOTOS: Turkey's First Transgender Beauty Contest

It isn't illegal to be LGBT in Turkey, but LGBTpeople still face regular violence and discrimination. A beauty pageant held in Istanbul formed part of a week-long celebration of LGBT events in June in defiance of that persecution, notes the Daily Mail. Thanks to Furkan Temir for these photos of some very brave ladies. The contest organized by HEVI LGBTT.

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Backstage, the magic happens — with help from some friends.

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Glamour gets a rise out of a spirited crowd.

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Walking proudly in spite of current conditions in Istanbul.

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Halfway there.

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Poise and confidence matter.

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A moment of exhaustion.

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A range of gender presentation was welcome.

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A quick moment backstage between numbers.

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A moment of victory.

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Careful on those dark steps in heels.

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Supportive friends make the night possible.

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It takes a village.

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Romance in the audience.

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Number 4 glides through the crowd.

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The audience is tense in anticipation.

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The winner of the  contest, Yanki Bayramoglu, glories in her moment.

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