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Help Reena Conduct India's First Beauty Contest For Transwomen #BeautyInEquality

“Sometimes, when God makes people, he puts a woman’s soul into a man’s body. It only makes them special. We must respect what they want. That is what matters most.” Reena is overjoyed to hear her 10-year-old daughter explain the importance of respecting transgenders to her friends.
The life of a transgender is as normal as ours. It gets tough when “normal” people like us fail to accept them as one of us: when we fail to make provisions for them in our norms. Through all the struggles in our life, we reach out for strength to our family, knowing there is always a place called home to go back to, but what when your family turns their back on you?
A simple hug, a listening ear, a helping hand are all luxuries most transgenders in India are forced to live without.

The first Transwoman who represented India Internationally

Last year, Bishesh was the first transwoman to represent India in an international transwoman beauty contest. She had nobody to even help her zip her gown up. There was nobody to support her or cheer for her on what was supposed to be the most important day of her life. She missed victory after reaching so close to it! Such is the plight of transwomen in our country! They are not even given basic human rights, let alone opportunities and platforms to express their talents.
Suhani Dreamcatchers is working relentlessly to organize a beauty contest : Miss Transqueen at a national level, with a vision to provide their winners the opportunity to represent India on international platforms, equipped with all they need to make our country proud.
“The contest would not only provide them with an opportunity to showcase their skills, but also boost their self esteem and confidence (which have been trampled upon for ages), and give them the strength to fight their way out of the undignified professions they are usually forced into,” says Reena the founder of Suhani Dreamcatchers.

About Reena

38-year-old Reena is an ordinary woman, who comes from a normal well-to-do family in Old Delhi. Her husband is a successful chef. She herself was the founder of a flourishing hospitality supplier chain, but gave up on her luxuries to make a difference to the lives of a whole community. Today, her family is sacrificing every luxury, and putting in all of their money to bring about a change in India’s notion about Transwomen.
“Bringing a change is never easy. I’ve heard rumours about myself belonging to the Transgender community because I’m trying to help them. My family has also been ridiculed for working closely with the community. There have been challenges being accepted by the community, being an outsider to it. It breaks me almost everyday. But you know what keeps me going? My beautiful, strong transwomen whose lives have been touched by my work. They call me 'Maa' and believe that I’m the one who gave them a new life. That feeling overpowers everything else.”

What Reena is fundraising for

“Vipin used to work in a beauty parlour I frequented. I have closely seen her journey to becoming the beloved ‘Vippi mausi’. The struggles were heart-breaking, but her fight was inspiring! A visit to Hijra Habba organized by HIV AIDS Alliance, and the story of Bishesh changed my life forever. Something was going wrong somewhere. The provisions made by our laws do not demand this poor a treatment towards people of the third gender! It dawned on me then that the problem only lay in our own perception, our opinion about anything that does not fit into the ‘norm’. It was after this that I made a promise to make a difference to their lives.”

Most transwomen in India are either forced to beg on the streets or resort to the flesh trade for a livelihood. They are compelled to compromise on their dignity for the most basic needs. Reena wishes to give them a chance to feel like the beautiful, strong women they are. She is presently fundraising to organize a pan-India beauty contest for Transwomen, conducting auditions in every state and selecting the best to represent our country on International platforms.

Why she needs your help:

Reena has conducted auditions in the first 3 cities by spending her own money. Now, she is quickly running out of her savings, and thus the resources to take this promising project forward.
“These are women who are strong. They have made it this far. They fought bullying, abuse and sometimes even the pressure to end their own lives. The main problem is people not wanting to associate themselves with them , for the sake of their own reputation.”

But the first 3 auditions have already made a big difference. Various renowned people have already reached out to different participants and presented them with job and career opportunities.
Reena now seeks support to be able to conduct the auditions in all other cities and give our country a chance to be represented internationally. She needs funds to be able to conduct Ms. TransQueen India, across 10 states, involving over 1500 happy and proud transwomen.

Click to support Reena’s fight for the equality of TransWomen.