Thailand’s annual Miss Tiffany’s Universe pageant took place this week allowing 30 transsexuals to compete for the crown.

The contestants were chosen from 60 candidates smiling, pouting and dressing up for a $2,6000 prize as well as a new car.

The winner, Ratrawee Chirapraphakun, told the Dallas Voice, that she entered the competition “to tell society to give transsexuals career opportunities and to be fair to us in all career fields. We don’t have to be just beauticians or beauty contestants. We are just as capable as the real men and women out there.”

Thailand is considered to be quite tolerant of homosexuality and Tran sexuality, but the contestants revealed the stigma they had to overcome in their younger years.

One contestant, Suphaphit Sri-amorn, 25, described the pressure her family put on her, “My parents wanted me to be a soldier or a policeman because I’m their only son.

“I was so stressed, I nearly killed myself. Why couldn’t I be a normal man?”

Patcha Kitjarnuwat said: “My father used to kick me, punch me, hit me, everything. I just had to be strong.

“My parents accept me now, because I take care of the entire house. I send them money. I built their house.”

The pageant helps promote acceptance and tolerance of Thailand’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.