Trans women compete in Indonesian beauty pageant in secret over fears of violence

A group of transgender women competed in a beauty pageant in secret on Friday to avoid unwanted attention from authorities.

The pageant, held in Jakarta, was held in secret with a handful of media invited. Organisers warned supporters of the event not to share images on social media during the course of the evening out of fear for contestants.

Contestants competed for a trophy that stood a massive two metres high and 10 million rupiah (745 US dollars.)

28-year-old Pie Nabh Tappii won the title of Miss Transgender Indonesia, defeating 18 other contestants to become number one.

Tappii was joyous over her win. She said to AFP: “I am happy, but I want to cry as well … I didn’t expect this.”

The pageant was kept under wraps as violence towards the LGBT community is on the rise in Indonesia.

While homosexuality has never been illegal in the Islamic country, attitudes towards LGBT people have become steadily more extreme in recent years despite a growing gay population and the Indonesia Psychiatric Association (PDSKJI) still classifies homosexuality as an illness.

The spokesperson for the president of Indonesia has said that the country has “no room” for the LGBT community amid the reports of an unprecedented amount of anti-LGBT attacks in Indonesia.

The country has agreed to block dozens of gay websites and apps in a crackdown on so-called “gay propaganda”.

The head of an Indonesian university has initiated a program to “normalise” gay students.

The only transgender boarding school has been forced to close after being branded “immoral.”

A gay couple were arrested in Indonesia over a photo showing them kissing that appeared on Facebook. The 22 year old university student and his 24 year old boyfriend were arrested on the island of Sulawesi after other Facebook users complained to police about the photo.

However, the President of Indonesia has broken his silence on the country’s rising political culture of homophobia, finally insisting that LGBT people must be protected.