PATTAYA, Thailand — They're known as the "katoey," or transgender people, and they are an important part of Thai culture.

Katoeys are found across Thailand — in urban areas, in rural villages, in cabarets and restaurants, in films, newspapers and, yes, on the stages of beauty pageants.

Here's a look at the "Miss Tiffiny Unlimited Sexy Star Contest," in the beach resort of Pattaya, which drew an television audience of some 15 million people.

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