Featured image from Getty Images.
Anjali Lama makes history at this year’s Indian Fashion Week by being the show’s first transgender model ever.
As a child, Anjali was outcasted by her family in rural Nepal when she told them that she wanted to live her life as a woman. “Growing up in Nepal as a transgender was extremely difficult”, Lama told AFP. “In South Asian countries people still aren’t that accepting, they treat it like an illness. The public looks at you differently and treats you in a different manner.”
Despite the hardships she faced, Anjali grew up to become Nepal’s first transgender model, and now has a spot in the Lake Fashion Week in Mumbai, India, from February 1-5.
While only her mothers and sisters supported her through out the difficult process of refusing to feel like another person in her own body, Lama was able to find some acceptance in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
She currently serves as an activist for the Blue Diamond Society, an LGBT rights group in her home country.
Anjali’s bravery has had a widespread impact on Nepal’s political scene. As of 2015, the Himalayan country began issuing third gender category passports for people who don’t identify with being male or female.
The model hopes to one strut the catwalks of New York, Milan, and Paris. The Lakme Fashion Week certainly serves as a stepping stone for that.
“One has to stay strong and reach out for their dreams,” she said. “I do hope to be an inspiration for other transgender people. I’d like to tell them to always believe in themselves and to work towards their goals.”