In Pictures: Transgender Beauty Pageant Miss International Queen 2018

Nguyen Huong Giang of Vietnam, Miss International Queen 2018, is congratulated by first runner-up Australia's Jacqueline (R) and Thailand's Rinrada Thurapan.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Nguyen Huong Giang of Vietnam prepares backstage before the national costume round.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

The Thai resort city of Pattaya hosted Miss International Queen 2018, billed as the world's largest and most popular transgender pageant. Twenty-eight contestants from around the world competed for the title in a number of rounds, including eveningwear, swimwear and national costume. 

Twenty-seven-year-old singer Nguyen Houng Giang from Vietnam took the crown and was named Miss International Queen 2018, with contestants from Australia and Thailand being named first and second princess, respectively.

Held annually, the pageant was launched in 2004 as a window of opportunity for transgender women to express themselves and showcase their talent, and to raise public awareness of trans issues. At Friday's final, the stories of discrimination shared on stage by the contestants were depressingly similar, whether they were from Myanmar, Mexico or the United Kingdom.

Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin of Thailand prepares backstage.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Anahi Cristobal Altuzar of Mexico.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Dinda Syarif of Indonesia in her national costume.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Longsy Sinakhone of Laos.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Juana Paing of Myanmar prepares for the national costume round backstage.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Amelia Vega of Honduras gets ready for the national costume round.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Izabele Coimbra of Brazil.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Marianna Melo of Italy.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Nguyen Huong Giang of Vietnam walks on stage in the swimwear round.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Rinrada Thurapan of Thailand holds a trophy after winning second runner-up.Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Vietnam's Nguyen Huong Giang is crowned by last year's winner Thailand's Treechada Petcharat.Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP