Welcome to a unique beauty pageant to empower, embrace transgenders
New Delhi, August 23: Of late, the country has taken many steps to bring the transgender community to the mainstream. Still a lot needs to be done to end daily stigmatisation and discrimination of transgenders, who mostly suffer due to lack of education and poverty.
Here comes a unique beauty pageant, where the country will choose its "Miss Transqueen India 2017" in the national capital on August 27, in an attempt to empower and embrace the transgender community.
Speaking to reporters, the organisers of the beauty contest on Tuesday said that a total of 16 transwomen from across the country will compete for the coveted crown -- "Miss Transqueen India 2017".
The best part is that the winner will get a chance to represent India globally at the "Miss International Transqueen" to be held in Thailand next year.
"Transgender people are often self-stigmatised, or lack confidence to pursue any career that they choose to. They are often made to think that they are not good enough for anything besides begging or some menial work.
"We want to change this. Our beauty pageant and its grooming sessions offer hope and is a symbol for change. We want transgenders to get respectable, mainstream work in fashion, film, television, and similar fields," Reena Rai, founder of Suhani Dreamcatchers, the event-management firm organising the beauty pageant, said.
These 16 transwomen, who are all set to participate in the Delhi contest, are some of the best as they have been choosen after several rounds of auditions, where more than a thousand transwomen from across the country competed.
The contestants, who were selected after auditions of 1,500 transwomen, have also gone through a rigorous training by several well-known grooming experts who have earlier been a part of many beauty pageants.
The winner will be crowned by Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 Laetica 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 this empower the third gender.
"The transgender community in India is 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.