Transgenders have been the most neglected and isolated class in the South Asian society. They are discriminated based on their sexuality and sexual interests and often mocked and left to lead a tough life of guilt and shame. Often forced into the sex trade they are ill-treated and abused.
But the fashion industry tells a different story. Transgenders have today taken the fashion world by storm with their enchanting make-overs. They’ve graced the ramps of Lakme Fashion Week and the likes and have shone in the limelight of beauty and good looks.
Here are the top 5 South Asian transgender models who have made a name for themselves in the fashion fraternity after going through much shame and tussle in their personal lives; but the passion towards fashion made them cross all odds and reach the pinnacle of success.
Born in Nepal as a man, he declared that he wanted to live as a woman to his family twelve years ago and since then took up the struggle for physical transformation. She fought the abuse and prejudice in her country with grit and today stands as one of the most successful transgender models in the fashion industry and has walked the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week, leaving onlookers and fashion followers across the globe agape and amazed with her beauty and confidence. Anjali, 32, confessed dismally that her country and people were unaccepting towards her, but self-belief and hard work have led her to where she stands today.
“Sex is between your legs. Gender is in your head.” This is the bold statement by this renowned Muslim transgender model, Kami Sid, who has made a breakthrough in her modeling career. With Kami, Pakistan, considered one of the most orthodox countries in the world, witnessed its first transgender model. After facing much harassment and prejudice, she finally got an opportunity to fly to Thailand to a transgender network conference, which opened the gates to the world of fashion, and since then there was no turning back!
She became the first transgender model on the cover page of an Indian magazine ‘Tahalka’ in June 2016. Before her career kickstarted in the world of fashion, she was a sad victim of transgender prostitution, and after much struggle, she transformed into a multitalented woman who is today a leading fashion designer, stylist, model and a fashion columnist. Having a flair for fashion at a very young age paid off well, and at 35 today, Naaz has carved a niche for herself in this unscrupulous world of glitz and glamor.
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Born to a Muslim family in Bangladesh, Amelia Maltepe has gone on to spend nearly $10500 on breast implants and $2600 on laser hair removal the day she felt that she was trapped in the wrong body. She was raised as Adesh, and now that she has finally transformed herself, she is focussing on the bigger events, tougher competition as she has her eyes set for the coveted Miss World crown!
She is a transgender model as well as an activist who works for the cause of all new and ambitious transgender models through her trust named “Mitr,” which is an LGBT advocacy organization in India.
It is time, we join hands to accept and encourage the transgender community, too, to pursue their dreams and ensure that the society doesn’t become an obstacle in their path of success.