Miss South Africa pageant now open for transgender women

For the first time in history, the Miss South Africa pageant is now open for transgender women to participate.

According to the Miss South Africa organization, interested applicants need to have a valid South African ID document that shows "female" as their amended sex in order to be eligible to compete.

South Africa has been blazing a trail in a continent where many countries still consider homosexuality taboo. The rainbow nation was the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Out of the 54 states recognized by the United Nations or African Union or both, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association stated in 2015 that homosexuality is outlawed in 34 African countries.

Spain's Angela Ponce became the first-ever transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. Since then, several other national pageants that traditionally only accept naturally born female changed their rules.

Photo: Miss South Africa / Facebook

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