Q: What makes you love yourself?
My life and my work motivates me to love myself and think positively.
Q: What does love mean to you?
For me, Love is one of the most secure feelings in the world. Love is having a companion, a friend and/or your family to walk through life with you.
Q: How was your experience shooting for GG?
It was an amazing shoot and I have good memories because GG is always special to me. And it was so much fun shooting the entire campaign. Thank you so much for choosing me.
Q: How did you feel wearing these outfits?
I felt like the outfits were specially designed and made just for me. GG is extremely unique.
Q: Do you see a change in people now? Are they more accepting varied gender roles?
Yes, we have seen a lot of change, inclusivity and acceptance. People from varied genders are getting opportunities and it’s very good to see this happening. But there are many things that still have to change.
Q: When did you first realise that you don’t identify with your gender and how was the whole transitional experience like?
I realised about being different during my school days but wasn’t sure what it was all about. Later in 2005, I visited the community centre and came to learn about various gender identities. I also understood what it meant to be a transgendered person and met other people like myself. Ever since then, I decided to live my life as per my inner needs and what has always been on my mind since I can remember. It was very difficult in the beginning and I couldn’t share this change with my family because I knew they wouldn’t accept me like this as they were totally unaware of the various gender identities. At one point, I told my mother about it and she mentioned to have noticed that since my childhood, she knew I was different from my brothers and advised me to follow the right path for myself, whatever I wanted to be. This motivated me and there was no looking back.
Q: You managed to channelize your transitional identity in your field of work gracefully. Was it difficult or were you able to initiate that process smoothly?
It was a difficult time when I faced numerous rejections and discrimination. In all honesty, I often thought of quitting but there were some well-wishers who would encourage me time and again to follow my passion. Slowly but steadily people started recognizing my work. I still felt a bit unsatisfied with kind of work that I was doing in my country hence, I decided to come to Mumbai. It was indeed a big challenge but finally I made it! And it’s history now. Of course, there are still times when I do feel that the discrimination still exists but I am glad that we are seeing a gradual change.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I think in 10 year’s time, I will be inspiring more people, staying positive and continuing my work.
Q: Do you have a message you want to send others who might be questioning their gender identity and/or are still inhibited to openly express themselves?
My message is that one should believe in themselves, focus on their passion and learn as much as they can about the things they want to do. And always remember, that you must keep trying and never give up.
Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My mother is my bigger inspiration.