The month of June is devoted to members of the LGBTQ community, where we acknowledge and celebrate their lives and their efforts to experience a sense of belonging and to exist with honour and respect, and, more importantly, as equals in a civil society.
The LGBTQ+ community has long battled for the right to live a good life. As a result, the world celebrates Pride month every June in recognition of community members who have come a long way by overcoming various difficulties in their lives. It also shows how far LGBTQ rights have progressed and how much work remains to be done.
The theme of Pride Month is acceptance, pride, and love. Every year, several initiatives and efforts are undertaken to educate people.
As we near the end of Pride Month, we'd like to introduce you to a bold figure from the transgender community.
Sandy Sair is a transgender woman who also works as a model. She is 28 years old and was born and raised in Khongjom Bazar, Thoubal, Manipur. She holds a double graduation degree, BSc Forestry from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, and BSc honours in Physics from Manipur University. She is a North-East trans model who currently resides in Delhi.
CitySpidey, a media house, reached out to the model to have a detailed conversation about her life and the challenges that she must overcome being a member of a marginalised group.
When asked about her family's reaction to everything, she said, "They weren't in shock as they have seen me since birth that I'm feminine and girly. I belong from a very strict family and they just ignored me and just wanted me to study more."
"Around the age of 24, I came out and told my parents about myself. It was the time where I was thinking about who I am. I explained the difference between transgender and gay. Later my family supported me. They knew that I am doing good and I am not doing anything wrong. So now they are supporting me," she said.
"Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, most of the people bullied me but it didn't affect me to the core and at the same time there are many teachers who supported me in my studies. The problems I faced when I was growing up are like those of ignorance by the family and by our loved ones. There was no one to mentor me and so I followed my heart, got inspiration from many famous personalities," she added.
"I work with Robèrt Naorem, Arbin Tonjam, Suraj Waheng, Seema. These are famous designers from Manipur. They are working internationally and I also know a few famous designers of Delhi. I have been living in Delhi since 2012," she continued.
"I came out after my 10+2 and changed myself. I have many friends, there are so many male and female friends, they support me all the time. I think my achievements as a model have helped people to accept themselves and be proud about it. Right now, I am working with Delhi Duty Free located at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Now, I live in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. I live alone but it doesn't mean that my family doesn't support me. We meet, have dinner and do family things together," she added.
She concluded, "In future, I want to live out of India to continue my career as a trans model and at last, I would like to say to my community, you be who you are and live life to the fullest, do no harm any living soul and environment."