India has it’s first ever transsexual beauty pageant
This article caught my eye by chance.
By BY Neil Nagraj DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER 21/12-2009India has hosted its first transsexual beauty pageant, an event that allowed a demographic often relegated to the shadows to take center stage.
Some 120 hopefuls from across the country battled it out to become the first transsexual “Miss India,” the news agency Agence France-Presse reported.
The pageant, which drew contestants ranging in age from 20 to 35 to the southern city of Chennai, was organized by the Indian Community Welfare Organization, a gay-rights advocacy group.
In addition to the grand prize, awards were handed out recognizing Miss Beautiful Hair, Miss Beautiful Eyes and Miss Beautiful Skin, the news agency reported.
Kareena, a 25-year-old model from Mumbai, snagged the contest’s top honor. Romi, a 23-year-old beautician from Manipur, came in second. Third place went to Padmini, 25, a dance instructor — and hometown favorite.
“We had a meeting of the transgender community some months ago where we discussed various events to bring community members into society,” A.J. Hariharan, a founding member of the advocacy group, told AFP.
Hariharan added, “Everyone unanimously supported the idea of a national-level beauty pageant” after debating, and punting, several other proposals, including a sporting event.
“We thought it would create an opportunity for the transgender community to showcase their skills [and] create a platform to address the problems they face — discrimination, marginalization and misconception,” Hariharan said.
The pageant is the latest in a series of steps forward for India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, AFP reported.
Eunuchs won a long-fought fight to be identified as “other” on voter registration cards in November.
This past summer, gay sex between consenting adults was decriminalized when a colonial-era ban on homosexuality was ruled unconstitutional