Published On: Sat, Feb 6th, 2016

A modeling agency for transgenders in India



To combat with the human violations a new kind of modeling agency for transgender has been developed in India as India’s LGBT community struggled for a legal battle to annul Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code – which criminalizes sexual activities “against the order of nature”

Rudrani Chettri, the Delhi-based transgender activist is developing the agency to reduce the “feeling of frustration, seeing much young beautiful transgender who are made to feel ugly” from a juvenile age.

Chettri told that “I was one of them and there was no such option open to me when I was young. It’s also a desperate desire among us to be seen and to be accepted into the mainstream society and to get jobs like everyone else,”

She further continued, who is also the founder of Mitr Trust, a city-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) charity, that “I hope this creates a spark in young transgenders to follow their dreams,”

Chettri says that society has prejudice over them whether at the workplace and among their families and local communities, which eventually compels them to beg or sex work for their livelihood. The platform is a hope for them.

She said that “This is an effort by the transgender community to improve our social and personal image, and to raise awareness about the serious funding crisis affecting us. We are not men, we are not women. We are transgender and are proud of it,”

The goal of the agency is to recognize five top models and assist them to launch into mainstream fashion media. They have organized a pan-India audition and grouped up with fashion stylist and photographer Rishi Raj, “I want this photo shoot to enhance and highlight the natural androgynous beauty of the transgender community,” Rishi said in an interview.

It was further added that “The greatest example in the recent past is Caitlyn Jenner. Fashion takes great pride in breaking boundaries and creating new trends; so in a Utopian scenario, the modeling agency should do well. This activity will create awareness about the Indian transgender community,”

An Indian-British team of filmmakers, Mitr Trust, is working for one year to document the lives and efforts of transgender and yet it has not enough money to support the dream.

Rudrani told that “We want to raise awareness for the funding. This will allow us to carry on working with the community as we have not been able to pay our workers for eight months now,”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.