Fashion biz accepting of us: LGBTQ community

Models and fashion experts active in the fashion industry feel that the decriminalisation of section 377 will open up many opportunities for them

Nithu R S

With fashion weeks becoming more open towards the LGBTQ community, fashionistas say they are hopeful.  Recently, the Lakme Fashion Week saw Prateik Babbar dress up as a drag queen.

Nithu R S, Miss Trans Diamond 2017, model and fashionista, was not too aware of how to enter the industry although she had a deep interest in fashion.

“There were times when people would pass comments at my parents and family for letting their child be what he wanted to be. I was confused and scared to step into fashion though I loved to style myself. I decided to be a model which is around the time the title happened. After I won the title, people started accepting me as I am,” says Nithu.

She has now been selected for Miss Transqueen India 2018, which will be held in October. “The verdict will open up more chances for people in the community,” she says.


Amit Pandya

Amit Pandya, jewellery stylist with C Krishniah Chetty Jewellers, who has also walked the ramp for brands like ‘Souchika’ and ‘Yukba’, says that the city’s fashion industry has been accepting. 

“I have not faced any bias. The verdict will definitely open more doors and avenues for members of the community in future. They will also be able to open up about their relationships. I hope the verdict encourages more organisations to provide platforms for the community,” he says. 


Maya aka Alex Mathew

Maya aka Alex Mathew, a drag queen who has emceed and walked the ramp at fashion events, says that she would like to walk the ramp more. 

“I have been part of events where not just LGBTQ people walked the ramp. This shows how inclusive the industry and community is,” she says.

Maya adds, “The verdict comes as a pleasant surprise and seems to have changed many things. Once, I was walking into this hotel to meet a friend and I got rude looks from the front office manager. Later on, I was called to perform there. But the change will be slow. A lot of people are still ignorant about the community.” 


Romi

Make-up artist, hair stylist and model, Romi Thokchom has been backstage and on stage many a time.

“I have been a part of many fashion weeks. I have been a showstopper at events and have also worked as a makeup artist in Sandalwood movies like Neer Dose, Chitte, Eradu Kanasu, Barjari and KGF. I have been lucky that I have never been discriminated against in the industry,” she says. 

The recent verdict will open up more venues, she vouches. “When the Miss Universe contest has transgender contestants participating in it, why not us?,” adds Romi.   


Sandeep Gowda

Sandeep Gowda, a fashion show choreographer, backstage manager and model, who has been working in the fashion industry for 15 years, says that he has faced no discrimination.

“I am living the same way as I was before the verdict. Section 377 has never bothered me. There was never a day when the fashion industry has not accepted someone who is gay; we accept everyone. Only your work matters here,” he says. 

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