Featured on BBC WORLD TV
The word ‘transgender’ begins itself by breaking every stereotype of human existence. No doubt the meaning of this enigma goes as far as the mind of the beholder. The wider the mind, the greater the substance of the word.
When the flow of water meets the mirror of ice, it is looked upon as a
marvel of nature. Yet when a human being manifests traits of multiple genders, the fact goes from being a sham to a shame in the society.
The question today is not Glen or Glenda? The question is, does it matter? The Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgement in 2014 recognising the third gender. But transgender individuals in India still continue to suffer from discrimination and social stigma. Many refuse to disclose their past due to fear of losing their jobs. Many are refused jobs due to their past professional choices or living conditions.
Considering the dawn of the truth is slowly arriving, one might hope to see the light of day soon.
In the wake of this spreading awareness, our portrait series ‘Many Queens’ attempts to capture the dynamic personality of transgenders, in all their charisma and romance. Their unique physicality calls for a space where they can feel free from stigma, to get the well-deserved opportunity to develop their individual capacities, as well as to find a way to fashionably express themselves. Each of these powerful personalities with diverse work profiles defy societal clichés and carve a niche for themselves in their respective fields. These photos hope to set examples for those who have ever felt hopeless, discriminated, rejected or wronged. These photos are to prove that they can rule their own chosen path. Set against the forests of Hesaraghatta in Bangalore, India, the series features 6 transgenders from the NGO Payana. Nestled in the heart of Bangalore, the NGO has been nurturing transgenders, helping them to develop as independent, successful people. What better way than art to celebrate the fascinating journey of a term treated as a taboo to a life being lived!
Our subjects’ femininity is characterised with the use of translucent sheers to find a rare balance with rich velvets, delicate furs, satins and tulle in soft silhouettes against the raw Indian terrain, to capture these surreal moments in fashion that define the beauty of their truth.