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Indonesia stages secret transgender beauty pageant

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Jakarta (AFP) – Crowds cheered Friday night as a group of Indonesian transgender women showed off glittering gowns in a beauty pageant held almost entirely in secret to avoid unwanted attention from hardliners in the Muslim-majority nation.

Twenty-eight-year-old Pie Nabh Tappii won the title of Miss Transgender Indonesia, facing off competition from 18 other contestants.

“I am happy, but I want to cry as well… I didn’t expect this,” Tappii told AFP after being crowned.

In addition to the crown, Tappii’s prizes included 10 million rupiah ($745) and a two-meter (six and a half-foot) high trophy.

The pageant in Jakarta was kept mostly under wraps, with just a handful of media invited as organizers warned cheering supporters not to share images of the event on social media as it unfolded, fearing the wrath of religious radicals.

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