“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it,” said Confucius
Age, skin colour, body shape, gender have been some of the things that defined beauty. The fashion industry has perpetuated high standards of beauty which have permeated through the society. One person is trying to destroy the myths, misconceptions and illusions that have gripped society, especially in the Indian context. 18-year-old Sandra Nandeibam is a transgender rights activist and a model.
Sandra organised the Miss Manipur Queen for Transgender beauty pageant. Speaking to The Logical Indian, she said that this show aims at abolishing the taboos associated with transgender people in our society. This is the first ever such show held in Imphal. With the success, Sandra now plans to organise it every year in November.
Organising this mega event was not easy. There were no funds and sponsors for the event. Sandra, who herself graced the ramp of Garnier Fashion Weekend held at Radisson Blu Guwahati did not give up. She organised this event with support from Sana EB Emma, an Imphal-based NGO which focusses on various issues related to children. They also help underprivileged and marginalised communities through their activities.
“All the participants were groomed and polished in training by Miss Manipur Queen Organisation and all the members were made aware of their obligatory rights. The event is targetted to educate and empower to live with dignity regardless of one’s gender” says Sandra.
The primary motive behind this event was to bring an inclusive society and to celebrate gender diversity. As society did not give any platform and opportunity to gender non-confirmed individuals, it was important to break the silence of the minorities. It is all about dignity and respect that each deserves. It is a step towards fostering equality and fighting stereotypes and harsh and discriminatory attitudes and practices against the transgender people.
Rohit Kumanthem was crowned the Miss Manipur Queen for Transgender 2016, while Loiloi Haorongbam as the first runner-up. Beyonce Laishram bagged the second runner-up along with Miss Personality title. This event was a dream for them as it was a revelation and opportunity to showcase their abilities.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Rohit, Miss Manipur Queen for Transgender 2016 said that the goal is to change the perspective of society towards the transgender people. That being a transgender person is no one’s fault. She does recognise that she has been lucky, as other transgender people don’t have the similar opportunities.
The beauty contest has been an eye opener for people. It targetted individuals in education, judiciary, bureaucrats, police, media and doctors and parents of the participants. It was an effort to make people aware of the rights which came after the historic Supreme Court NALSA judgement recognising ‘transgender’ as the third gender.
You can find more beautiful photos of the event on Kumhei’s Website.
The Logical Indian congratulates Sandra for the success of her first show and hopes that her future shows draw more participation from other states too. Congratulations also to the winners and participants of the Miss Manipur Queen For Transgender 2016 competition. Wish you the best of luck for all the future opportunities.