Manipur’s Transgender Queen Contest Takes on Discrimination

This beauty pageant was definitely different.

2 min read
Hindi Female

A beauty pageant held in Imphal, Manipur, is taking a stand against discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

This is not the first transgender beauty pageant to be held in the country – the first one was held in 2009 in Chennai – the Northeast Transgender Queen Contest has been organised every year since 2010.

Called a “Solidarity Event”, it was held at Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT), Imphal on Tuesday.

Thirty-three transgenders participated from the seven states of Northeast India in this event is organised by the All Manipur Nupi-Manbi Association in association with Solidarity and Action Against the HIV infection in India, with support from the Manipur State AIDS Control Society, American Jewish World Service and Alliance India.

This beauty pageant was definitely different.
A placard getting flashed asking for reconsideration of Shashi Tharoor’s take on Sec 377. (Photo: ANI)

The transgender community organised the event to protest the December 2013 Supreme Court’s verdict on Section 377, setting aside the Delhi High Court’s verdict decriminalised homosexuality is a crime in the country.

While this verdict brought in protests from almost every corner of the country, events like the Northeast Transgender Queen Contest are a step toward empowerment.

Criminalising section 377 invited criticisms from senior Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who wrote for The Quint about the three bills he planned to introduce in Parliament on December 18 that was intended to bring a liberal legal framework.

The amendment bill introduced by Tharoor was voted down by 71 MPs and supported by 24 MPs.

This beauty pageant was definitely different.
This pageant is held every year since 2010. (Photo: ANI)

Even Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the 2014 judgement by the Supreme Court needs to be reconsidered in the present context.

When you have millions of people involved in gay sex, you can’t nudge them off. The court has taken a conservative view. As jurisprudence world over is evolving, I think the judgement was not correct and probably at some stage they may have to reconsider.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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Topics:  Section 377   Shashi Tharoor   Transgender 

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