The annual Miss Transsexual Australia pageant has wowed Melbourne for its ninth year as part of the Midsumma Festival.

Held at the Yarraville Club over the weekend, Australia’s biggest trans beauty contest featured more than 15 gorgeous trans women vying for the crown.

Malaysian pastry chef Laeticia Phylliscia Raveena took out the title of Miss Transsexual Australia. As well as the coveted crown, she won a cosmetic surgery gift voucher worth US$15,000.

 Community trans activist Nisha Ayub congratulated Laeticia on her win.

“You deserve to be the queen,” she said. “You made the community proud.”

Second runner-up Victoria Anthony of Sydney took home a swag of awards, including Miss Photogenic and Best in Swimsuit.

Victoria said she was “very happy and grateful” to have taken out third place.

“Thank you to everyone who supported me leading up to the pageant and throughout,” she said.

“I am so glad I was a part of the pageant. It was a very rewarding experience for all the girls involved. My original intention was just to have fun with my best friend and the other girls, but winning something is a wonderful bonus.”

Victoria said the highlight of the event was “being able to spend a lot of time with other trans girls and allies, forging connections with one another and celebrating who we are in a positive atmosphere.”

“There was also an opportunity for a few of the partners of the trans girls to get to know each other and it was great to see them support their trans girlfriends and be open about it—my partner included.”

The pageant aims to raise awareness and acceptance by promoting positive images of trans women.

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