Cook Islands: Drag pageant returns

The Cook Islands have revived its popular transgender pageant the Mizz Jewel competition after a 10 year break as part of a campaign to decriminalise homosexuality.

Organiser Valentino Wichman, who has been awarded a 2016 Commonwealth Queens Young Leaders Award for service to gay rights activism in the Cook Islands, says it's about celebrating diversity and embracing differences.

"I would say socially we are generally accepted but there is still that legal aspect hanging over our heads," he says.

"For us it's about trying to educate them (the public) that we are part of society and we come from normal families."

Hundreds of people packed the national auditorium for the show which featured a dazzling array of talent, evening wear and a creative section. 

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