Friday, March 25, 2022

My Feminity Is My Strength : Naaz Joshi, India's First International Trans Queen

Women are like the sky. Limitless and endless. Their sacrifice, contributions are infinite. They are indestructible and never let the star inside them to dim even in the toughest war. This month. Bongjournal / qtvlive is celebrating International women's day by   unveiling inspiring stories of those remarkable women

Use and throw like a tissue,

Do you think being a girl is an issue?”

A girl, woman, and transwoman everyone demands respect in society. Though not to mention that every day is women’s day and every woman is an inspiration in society. Speaking of inspiration, let’s unfold the story of India’s first international trans beauty queen,trans rights activist and a motivational speaker Naaz Joshi. A successful fashion designer who worked with reputed designer like Ritu kumar and Ritu Beri. She speaks about her journey, her struggle, her motivation, her faith, and many more with our pincaster Charu Upadhyay. 

Tell us about yourself? 

I will not say much about myself, though a lot has already been said. Like any other trans girl my life is also full of troubles. I was abandoned at the age of seven, and at the age of eleven I was molested by my cousin’s brothers. And this kept on happening to me by my school teachers, maternal uncle, or my paternal uncle. It was  an ongoing process to me, and that’s why I have never seen a smooth childhood. I don’t have any school friends or friends as such”.

Your journey as a designer and model ? 

I came back to Delhi. I have my cousin’s sister in Delhi, Viveka Babajee, and she had guided me to become a fashion designer. I had completed my graduation from NIFT and also my fashion designer course from Pearl Academy fashion Delhi. Then I did my post-graduation, MBA from IMT Ghaziabad and worked under the two noted designers Ritu Kumar and Ritu Beri. Although the problems continue, as craftsmen working there are orthodox and they could not accept the male acting as female. Due to these reasons, I have to quit my job as I am mentally very stressed. People used to stare at me, laugh at me and it was becoming tough for me.”

Then I decided to make My FEMINITY MY STRENGTH. And decided to go to the gender change surgery. I met the surgeon and got to know that it is an expensive process. And then I started my journey as sex worker to add money for the surgery. I met the photographer, who was then looking for a trans model to work on the project named 'Life of a transgender prostitute’. We shoot for 1 year; it is a kind of black and white series based on my life and other people’s lives as well. He shoots me in many ways like wearing a net saree. And in 2013, I made enough money to get the surgery done. The surgery is somehow not as good as post-surgery. There was no one to look after me. My sister  showed me the mirror after the surgery. I replied  it’s just this body I wanted from God and thankfully I arranged for the money and made it happen.

I had been working in the fashion industry since 1994,when  I was only ten. Later, I decided that I gathered enough experience and knowledge to share. So, I decided to start my grooming institute  and started to train. 

I own the title of India’s first trans model. Long before me there were many trans models  but they only did one or two shows and someone with only one or two shows cannot be called a model. I have been modelling continuously. In 2015, I was recognised by IBN and they wanted to make a documentary on me. In the same year Tehelka magazine was looking for a  trans girl to be featured in their magazine. I got the opportunity and that was for the first time a trans woman was featured in the magazine in India. At that time my parents accepted me and I started living with them. After that I started getting shows and I was India’s first-ever trans show stopper. As I always believe in upgrading myself. So I started the pageant Mrs India Homemaker in 2015 for homemakers, who wanted to do something for themselves.   I got the inspiration from an eighteen years old married girl. I took the initiative to represent girls at the international pageants platforms. The girls from my pageants won Mrs Earth, Mrs. universe, Mrs. Republic International, and many more. In 2016, I got a call from Ms United Nations, a pageant called Ms Madison. They are looking for a girl from India but at that time there was no franchise  in India. I went there and sponsored my clothes, flight tickets all on my own. Despite all the challenges I won the pageant. Since then, I have won many pageants such as Ms World Diversity, Ms Trans Queen India, Ms Universe Diversity, and in 2021 Empress Earth. Apart from all these, I  also worked for women for their rights. I also worked with the ex-member of the parliament, Mr Udit Raj. At present, I am the brand ambassador of 8 companies”. 

On this journey of yours who was your major supporter or motivator?

I came from a Hindu-Muslim family where my mother is Muslim and my father is Hindu. I always believe in Lord Krishna. I do meditation. I have my dreams. I want to bring an Oscar for India. Whenever I take a step forward I always believe that Lord Krishna is there with me. I always believe that we women are blessed with power, we are strong enough to stand for ourselves.

Your views on discrimination due to sexuality or gender identity? 

When I read the article "society still can't accept women in uniform" that was published in your platform, I can relate to it very much as people don’t want to accept women in power. Similarly, people don’t want to accept trans women in western dresses. Recently, I watched the movie ‘Gunjan Saxena.' The problems she faced, like there is only a men’s washroom and no washroom or changing room for women likewise. In the same way there is no washroom or changing room for trans women as well. Though in 2014, the supreme court said that there will be a gender-neutral washroom for which we are still waiting. Even when I go to pageants there is no changing room for trans women. There are changing rooms for men and women but trans women suffer for this. Slowly and steadily, I was accepted in the women’s washroom or changing rooms. Also, whenever I called for any event people didn't pay me. Even if trans women do any music video or anything as such people don’t want to pay as there are many trans women who want to do it free of cost.

Countries like Nepal, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines are blessed with these changes. In India, people need to understand that there are changes and should make clothes accordingly. Trans in India have broad shoulders and they do face problems with clothes. As a model, I have faced these problems because the clothes don’t fit properly, especially on the chest. I want to say through this medium that as a model we are promoting clothes of designers and we should get paid for it too. Apart from clothes, I also want to say that when in movies like ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ a woman can play the role of a trans woman, why not us? It’s like you are giving our roles to them but not giving us a chance. We can play the role more beautifully.  Even some trans men can play the role of hero, they are handsome, they act, they have a voice as a man. Why not give them a chance? There are my trans sisters begging on roads why not give them a chance to work. I want to ask people how they will feel when other people will stare at them and laugh at them? Is it our fault that we are born as trans gender? God himself never discriminated then why people are doing this?

There was a time when I went to the police station after being raped to file a complaint the officers  said that there was no law in the constitution for trans women and we cannot help you on the same. I want to ask where we should go. Ministers are working for animals, but they are not taking steps for transgenders. Then where should we go for help or who should we call for help?”

What are the misperceptions about trans people that our society has?

Misperception that people have about us is that trans people wearing a saree and big Bindi on the forehead will beg on roads. Or if they are wearing short skirts or short dresses, they are a prostitute. People think that these people should not get home to stay. They can’t digest the fact that trans women are wearing short dresses. People look down upon us.

If you have a chance to advise people on LGBT, what would you say?

first let us remove the T from and LGB these all are the sexual orientation. It has nothing to harm you. Many  think if they are friends with a gay boy or lesbian girl, they will also get a tag of it. They should have confidence in their sexuality. Why can’t you go out with your gay friends? Transgender is a different thing altogether. It is an umbrella term. Some people undergo surgery for their trans term. 

In India, people discriminate against people for their sexuality. You will be surprised to know that Pakistan is more progressive in terms of trans people. Trans people there are getting work, movies, shows, or music videos, unlike India. Trans women there are very liberalized. They respect women. 

Message on women’s day

We women don’t need any special day to celebrate women’s day. We just want a woman to stand for another woman regardless of their sexuality. A true queen is the one who is not adjusting her crown but the one who helps others to adjust their crown.     

Do you like our story / Want to share some stories with us then write to us at



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