Yes, these are all former men. Now to the story. 16 would-be beauty queens from across India helped to make history when they competed in the country’s first ever transgender beauty pageant. Miss Transqueen India aimed to celebrate gender fluidity and enhance the profile of India’s trans community, with the winner being presented with an opportunity to represent India at the International Queen pageant in Thailand in March 2018.
The event was overseen by an 11-person judging panel, consisting of Ms. Transsexual Australia and long-time transgender activist Gauri Sawant, who declared 26-year-old Kolkata-based Nitasha Biswas as India’s very first “Trans Queen.”
The audience at the event was small, but supportive. Many were friends of the contestants or members of the LGBT community in Delhi.
In 2014, India’s supreme court legally gave transgender people the right to identify as a third gender. But many in the trans community continue to face discrimination in everyday life.