First Ever Parivarthan Transgenders State Level Beauty Pageant to Invade Kudla

First Ever Parivarthan Transgenders State Level Beauty Pageant to Invade Kudla

Gloria Diaz, 1969 Miss Universe: “You know, times have changed. Now, we see older and worldly almost professional contestants, enhanced and more adjusted. Somehow, I know that one day it will be acceptable but for now, maybe they (transgender) have their own contests to join. And mind you, many transgender are gorgeous!”

Renee Salud, fashion designer and beauty-queen discoverer: “Miss Universe is a traditional beauty contest for heterosexual, so let the tradition live. Transgenders have their own platform to present their beauty and talent so they should just make their contest bigger and more prestigious than the Miss Universe pageant. It should be beautiful transgender against beautiful transgender from all over the world!”

Cory Quirino, former head of the annual search for Miss World-Philippines: “There was a time when men were men, and women were women. But the phenomenon of the 21st century is the diversification of genders. Thus, the emergence of LGBTQ. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes gender dysphoria, the fact that a person may not feel like the sex they were born in. This will soon dramatically redefine beauty pageants from hereon after {Transgender} Angela Ponce’s win as Miss Universe Spain. What a historic victory!

Mangaluru: Get ready to witness something that Mangaloreans have never seen before, and its happening for the FIRST time in this picturesque Coastal City-Mangaluru- and come October 14 at Kudmul Ranga Rao Purabhavan, formerly Town Hall -Mangaluru, Karnataka State’s beautiful and gorgeous Transgenders will walk the ramp, to win the coveted title, in the State Level Parivarthan Transgenders Beauty Pageant. This Beauty pageant is hosted by The Parivarthan Charitable Trust in association with Fashion ABCD and V4 Channel.

Parivarthan Charitable trust, a Ray of Hope”” for transgenders, was initiated in 2016, and since its inception has been working for the welfare of the Transgenders. Parivarthan Trust also celebrated the World’s First “Transgenders Day” on March 12 commemorating the birthday of Ms Violet Pereira, the Founder of the Trust, and the tradition in celebrating ‘Transgenders Day’ has been continued for the past two years. Last year, The Trust also hosted the FIRST ever Christmas Celebration with the Transgenders, thereby bringing the joy and fun during Christmas time among the Transgenders, and putting miles of smiles on their faces.

History was created in India last year in August, when India crowned its FIRST Transgender Beauty Queen in the Gurgaon, Haryana, where in 16 would-be beauty queens from across India helped to make history when they competed in the country’s first ever transgender beauty pageant. The Pageant named “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 on March 2018. Like other pageants, the event featured plenty of glitter and rhinestones, but unlike other pageants, Miss Transqueen India”” made a point of declaring all the participants “winners,” in recognition of their struggle for acceptance and recognition.

Recalling the order passed by Supreme Court in 2014, where it legally gave transgender people the right to identify as a third gender. But while the law was hailed as a victory by activists, many in the trans community continue to face discrimination in everyday life. In that event held last year, it was overseen by an 11-person judging panel, consisting of Ms. Transsexual Australia and long-time transgender activist Gauri Sawant, who after lengthy deliberation, declared 26-year-old Kolkata-based Nitasha Biswas as India’s very first “Trans Queen.”

Finalists in the FIRST “Indian Transgender Beauty Queen” Beauty Pageant in the
Gurgaon, Haryana, held in 2017

Miss Transqueen India was the brainchild of Reena Rai, a former business owner who once sold tortillas to the TGIF restaurant chain. Rai was inspired to create the pageant after listening to a number of hijra — a traditionally revered, yet ostracized group of male-to-female transgendered people in India — discuss issues facing their community. Rai quit her job and devoted nine months of her life to putting together the competition- and it was a success, and made a difference. Reena Rai said it was important for the people from outside the transgender community to work for the betterment of the third gender without differentiating.

The sexual minorities, especially transgender people, who are more visible have been driven to the fringes of the society into begging and prostitution. It was only in April 2014-India’s apex court recognized transgender as a legal third gender and called on the government to ensure equal treatment to them. But abuse and exploitation are widespread. Often thrown out of home by their families, thousands of Transgenders lack formal education and are denied jobs, and forced into sex work, begging, etc etc to make ends meet. Recently, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd became the first government agency in the country to hire 23 transgender for various works in the metro system. Change is happening in India for the betterment of Transgenders.

Finalists of a Transgenders Beauty Pageant held in Kerala in 2017

If Reena Rai, and people of Gurgaon could do something unique for the Transgenders, why not Mangaloreans? Keeping that in mind, Parivarthan Charitable Trust, with discussions with Charan Suvarana of Fashion ABCD and Laxman Kunder of Kudla’s favorite TV Channel V4, who have knowledge and experience in hosting many Fashions shows, beauty pageants, decided to host the FIRST ever Beauty Pageant for the Transgenders in Mangaluru. Today, India is home to a vibrant transgender community that covers a wide spectrum of people. Parivarthan Trust has been striving hard for the rights of the transgenders and has been sensitizing the students by holding various programmes. To give equal opportunities for transgenders in the society the Trust is hosting the First Ever “Parivarthan Beauty Pageant”.

After the launch of Parivarthan Charitable Trust, Transgenders in Mangaluru have become more optimistic, and they are expressing their desire to work in firms, taking part in various competitions, pursing education, trying for jobs etc. Sanjana, a member of the Trust working as a beautician, and who has expressed her desire to become a model, she along with others came up with the idea of holding a beauty pageant with Violet Pereira- and the rest was history!

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Sanjana said, “We were neglected by the society, our own community leaders harassing, abusing and torturing us, but after Parivarthan Charitable Trust was formed we got an opportunity to share our problems, and the Trust has always helped us in our needs. Violet Pereira has stood firm with us fighting for our rights. For the first time in our lives, we got an opportunity to cast our votes during the last Assembly election. Casting the vote was like getting the freedom- on that day even though our country got freedom 72 years ago, for us it was on May 12, 2018. The Trust helped us to get the voter IDs and also the Aadhar cards. Some of our members are even getting the pension. At present, I am working as a beautician, and I am very much eager to take part in the beauty pageant. If it is God’s wish, I am look forward in realizing my dreams after the beauty pageant”.

Beauty Pageants for Transgenders is getting ahead good and becoming popular worldwide, and even in India. A question cropped up after Angela Ponce, a transgender, won 2018 Miss Spain as the country’s bet in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant with the Philippines’ Catriona Grey among the contenders. Ponce was not the first transgender to win in a pageant for girls, in 2012, Jenna Talackova, a model and TV personality, created a stir when she waged a legal battle to be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant after being initially disqualified for being a transgender. She reached the Top 12 but failed to land in the Top 5. That was two years after she competed in the 2010 Miss International Queen pageant for transgender and transsexual women in Thailand.

Should transgenders be allowed to compete in pageants? Why not! Aren’t they humans too, having the same desires and interests like the regular human beings. So why not give them a chance, and allow them to unleash their hidden talents- and yes, they will show the world and the Mangaloreans, that they too are beautiful gorgeous, and accomplish and reach greater heights if given a chance like it is given to others. So come October 14, 2018, Mangaloreans will witness something unique, glittering and extravagant of the Transgenders Kind!

In conclusion, in my perspective, there are good things happening around us. There is justice being served everywhere we see and positive changes happening everywhere. One such astounding change we see is the visibility of more transgender folks amidst us, thanks to the government and normal folks making efforts to work towards accommodating them in society. Most transgenders in India are shunned from society and are not given equal opportunities because they are seemingly ‘different’. Most of them are not accepted in their own homes or surroundings and are ostracized by their own people . The community, though, has recognized this and have been sticking together ever since. A lot of effort has been made by community workers to give them their rightful place in society and make them feel as much at home as possible.

During the last many programmes held by Parivarthan Trust, where the Transgenders have given performances from dance to singing, it showed that the transgender community have a lot of talent and beauty which is mostly sidelined, and now the Trust has something unique by organizing the Beauty Pageant for them. Most of the participants from the pageant will surely share a similar vision on how the community should develop and grow. The Trust believes in educating transgenders to make them aware of their rights and privileges. Most of them go through a world of torture with abandonment and shame and some of them turn out to be sex workers. To break this downward spiral, this Beauty pageant is organised to equalize all efforts made towards the community. Here’s hoping many such efforts gather more momentum and helps the transgender community break away from the shackles of judgment and inequality.

by Alfie Dsouza

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