Taking a cue from Kerala, which hosted the country’s first transgender beauty pageant in June this year, New Delhi is gearing up to hold a fashion contest for the third sex.
Around 16 trans-women will be participating in the pageant, which will be conducted in Gurugram on August 27, the organizers said.
The participants will be contesting for the title of 'Miss Transqueen India 2017,’ the winner of which would represent the nation in next year’s Miss International Transqueen, which is scheduled to take place in Thailand.
"Transgender people are often self-stigmatized due or they lack the confidence to pursue a career of their choice. They are often made to think that they are not good enough for anything except begging and such some menial jobs,” said Reena Rai, founder of Suhani Dreamcatchers, the event-management firm at the helm of the pageant.
“We want to change this. Our beauty pageant and its grooming sessions offer hope and are a symbol for change. We want transgenders to get respectable, mainstream work in fashion, film, TV, and such avenues," she added.
The participants, who were selected after auditioning 1,500 trans women, have been going through rigorous training by several grooming experts who have been a part of many other national beauty pageants. The winner will be crowned by Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 Laeticia Phylliscia Raveena.
Talking about the need of a platform for the transgender community in India, educator and grooming expert Avleen Khokhar said that opportunities like these empower the third gender. "Transgender community in India are being denied education and jobs due to persistent discrimination. A platform like this is needed to give the third gender an opportunity to embrace and empower themselves," Khokhar said.