After living through years of discrimination model Anjali Lama has become the first transgender model to walk in India’s premier fashion week.
Born in Nepal, Lama came out as transgender in 2005 after she moved to Kathmandu from her small farming village.
In 2009 the beauty landed the cover of Nepal’s leading magazine Voice of Women. After this landmark moment in her career and with the encouragement of a few friends Lama decided to take on a bigger market in fashion.
‘My friends told me I was not meant to be stuck in Nepal, that I should try to become an international supermodel,’ Lama told Elle India.
If at first you don’t succeed…
But her attempts at cracking the fashion world took a long time.
Nepal’s Fashion Week rejected her three times because of her gender identity. Last year she auditioned for the Lakmé Fashion Week but was not selected.
‘It wasn’t easy for me in the early days when there was so much rejection and discrimination,’ Lama, 32, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
‘Now I am getting an overwhelming response from the fashion industry after being selected, and other transgender people tell me they are proud of me.’
Last week Lama became the first transgender model to appear at an Indian fashion week event when she walked in Monisha Jaising’s opening show at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017.
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Lama will also appear in the upcoming Lakmé Fashion week from February 1 alongside Petr Nikta who will become the first gender neutral person to model in India.
In 2007 Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled people were entitled to choose their own gender and in 2015 began issuing passports with a third gender identity.