Today in an enlightening conversation with Mrs Reena Rai, the founder of The beauty pageant-Miss Transqueen India, 2018. The show will be held at The Lalit Mumbai on October seventh 2018, 4 pm onwards.
I picked up the call and heard a soft subtle voice from the other side of Mrs Reena Rai. I had no clue that it will change my entire perspective about the transgender community. I was focused and asked her about her journey and how did she come up with the idea of having Transgender Beauty Peagent.
The firm voice started narrating her story that how she met someone at a salon and her perception changed when she became friends with a transwoman. Whilst she used to hang out with her people used to pass lure comments which were unacceptable.
Then and there she decided that this is it, we all need to take a step for the betterment of our society. The acceptance and inclusion of LGBT should happen. It was an awakening call or maybe the reason of her existence that she has been sent here to do something for the change. She faced a lot of obstacles and people even tried to pull her back by terming her “mad” and even asked her if she herself is a trans. She was shaken to hear such different opinions and accusations. But the iron woman didn’t stop and started planning a beauty pageant in November 2016 and made it successful in August 2017. Now she is here back with the second season.
Once, she introduced her daughter with a transwoman at her house and here is how she describes it:
MRS RAI: You can address her(transwoman) as maasi (Aunt).
Daughter: But, he is a boy how can I call her maasi.
Then, Mrs Rai explained to her 8 yr old daughter that Pink is your favourite colour but what if I put you in a boy’s body, will your favourite colour will be changed to blue?
Moreover, throwing some light on how we categorise transgenders and hoot them and differentiate with them is totally absurd as we Women have given birth to them. They aren’t aliens falling from above, they have taken birth from a mother’s womb as you have so treat them just another human. She took the pledge to get them their rights and do something even when she didn’t had any sponsor. She created the history and made the world aware of it.
The Lalit Group owner Mr Keshav Suri came forward to join hands with her and now they have turned so many lives into a positive light. Mr Suri provides paid internships to train at his hotel and also in various job sectors. She has no profits yet but she has been working so hard from past two years and when she saw changed the lives of transgenders who participated in her show. She had a gleam of joy in her voice when she talked about family acceptance and highly paid jobs for transgenders on an equal platform.
She believes that acceptance and inclusion of the LGBT community can only happen if we start treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve.
“We took auditions at The Lalit New Delhi, The Lalit Mumbai and The Lalit Ashok Bangalore. Having worked closely with the community for some years, I now want to empower them, increase visibility and create employment opportunities, and contribute in building an inclusive society, through this pageant,” said Ms Reena Rai, Founder and Chairperson of Miss Transqueen India.
The contestants will go through compete in different activities – sports, cultural, and various question-answer rounds. The winner of the pageant will represent India at Miss International Queen Pageant in Thailand.
Garnet & Gold is the official media partner for Miss TransqueenIndia 2018. Olmec is beauty and treatment partner, Kronocare is gifting partner, Santachef will be the NGO partner, and Pageant Vote will be an online voting partner for Miss Transqueen India 2018.
The Lalit is the Hospitality partner. Mr Keshav Suri, Executive Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, is elated about the association with Miss TransQueenIndia pageant. He says, “With such initiatives, we will be able to create more inclusive platforms for the community. Get them representation in Corporates, Bollywood and the right acceptance in the society. I wish them all the very best in the journey for inclusion.”