This trans model is breaking boundaries to walk at India’s top fashion week this week
A woman from Nepal is set to become the first trans person to walk the runway at an Indian fashion show.
Anjali Lama will be the first trans person to walk at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, and hopes to inspire other trans people to speak out.
Lama is the first transgender model to come out of rural Nepal, and speaking to AFP, she explains difficulties she overcame to transition.
“Growing up in Nepal as a transgender was extremely difficult,” the 32-year-old told AFP.
“In South Asian countries people still aren’t that accepting, they treat it like an illness. The public looks at you differently and treats you in a different manner.”
She adds: “One has to stay strong and reach out for their dreams.”
Born to a family of farmers in Nuwakot in the Nepalese mountains, Lama transitioned in 2009, and later became interested in modelling.
“I knew I couldn’t feel like another person living in someone else’s body. Hence, I was ready to face the cruel words that people threw at me,” she adds.
“Most of the people, including my own brothers, weren’t ready to accept me for who I was. I had to stay strong and believe in myself. My mother and sisters were the only ones who supported me throughout.”
After moving to Kathmandu, where she moved to study, Lama became an LGBT activist for the Blue Diamond Society.
The fashion week takes place between 1 and 5 February.