Miss TransQueen 2017 Had Clichéd Questions, But Heartfelt Answers
A transwoman from Kolkata has been crowned the first Miss Transqueen India.
It was a clichéd beauty pageant question: If there is one thing you would want to change in the world, what would it be?
But it was the forceful impact of the answer that took the breaths of everyone in the room away – “Aside from M and F columns, I would like the third gender to be introduced in our college forms. Because transgenders should be educated first and foremost, to be able to do the things they want to do in their life.. Transgenders are not just meant for sex work and begging. We are all capable to do anything we want.”
The answer was not padded with clichés taught in finishing schools, it came straight from the heart of Namitha Nisha Ammu, a 27-year-old from Chennai. Ammu, a B.E in Computer Science and Engineering was one among the 16 trans women participating in the Miss Transqueen India 2017 held at Bristol hotel in Gurugram on Sunday, 27 August.
Having a sex worker would be considered anathema in a candied beauty pageant, but this one, with its struggling contestants forced to live on the margins of society, had them walking the ramp so nonchalantly that it seemed like a forceful brush with reality. Stripped of all its glossiness.
But the winner of the Miss Transqueen pageant, and the one who was greeted with the most hoots and whistles, was Natasha, 26, who hails from Kolkata.
She was asked what cause would she like to take up if she won the competition, to which she replied, “If I win this crown, I would like to fulfill my mom’s wish of opening an orphanage”.
While Natasha won the title, Loiloi Haorongbam from Manipur became the first runner-up and Ragasya from Chennai was crowned the second runner-up.
Ragasya, representing Tamil Nadu, was asked what she would change about her life, if she could turn back the clock.
If I could go back, I would like to get an education. I had to leave education four-five years ago, I would like to be educated again.Ragasya, Tamil Nadu
Navya Singh, a freelance model from Mumbai, had another great answer: When asked if she would like to be reborn as a man or a woman, she said she would like to be born “once again as a transwoman. Because in one life, I have lived two lives: as a man and as a woman too.”
The 16 finalists at the pageant represented some of the Indian states. They were chosen after a hunt involving more than 1,500 trans women across India.
"The winner will go to Thailand for Miss International Queen, the first runner-up will compete at Miss Transsexual Australia. We are looking for another international pageant so that we can send the second runner-up too," pageant organiser Reena Rai, founder and chairperson of Suhani Dream Catchers Pvt Ltd, said.
Trans identity got a new lease of life and trans beauty got a powerful affirmation at the contest, which had transgender social activist Gauri Sawant, former Mr Gay India Sushant Divgikar, fashion stylist Shaine Soni, educator and grooming expert Avleen Khokhar, nutrition and beauty expert Varun Katyal and Hector Ravinder Dutt, Principal of Delhi Public School Rohtak, among others, on the jury.
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