"Determined and On the Rise."
This lady comes from Nazareth. A dance teacher, a model, and an advocate for transgender rights, Talleen Abu Hanna keeps a busy schedule. After moving to Tel Aviv, she started work in television and has even appeared in the international hit reality series, Big Brother. Before that, she competed as Miss Trans Israel in the Miss Trans Star International Pageant, where she came in second place. Her message, she says, is "acceptance, tolerance, and peace." She has tried to overcome the sense of division and separateness that people in her circumstances sometimes feel. Her transgender success story made it possible for her, she asserts, to find "peace between my body and my soul."
Talleen has become a celebrity in Israel and across the globe. Not only does she speak and advise young people at Tel Aviv shelters for LGBTQ youth, she has also given the keynote address for LGBTQ Pride Month at the Israeli embassy in the United States. She comes from an Arab Christian background. Her mother was accepting of her gender reassignment surgery. But her father was not. That situation has since resolved itself happily. During a segment of Big Brother, Talleen's father arrived on set and the two have now reconciled.
For Talleen, changing people's opinions and attitudes is part of what drives her. And she believes she has a gift for being able to do so. It is all part of what she has worked towards while competing in pageants. She draws strength from her diverse background of being a Christian, an Arab, an Israeli, and a transgender woman. Her competition and subsequent appearances in advertising and television present her, as she says, "with all my complexity."