LIFESTYLE

5 Things You Need To Know About The First Trans Person To Walk An Indian Catwalk

02/02/2017 08:16 SAST | Updated 02/02/2017 08:22 SAST
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Trans models may slowly be more and more commonplace on catwalks and magazines in the UK and USA, but for many places around the world this is not the case.


Now a 32-year-old Nepalese model, Ajali Lama, has been chosen out of hundreds of women to walk in Mumbai's Lakmé Fashion Week, the first trans person ever to have ever done so.


Now here are five things you need to know about this rising star.


1. Lama grew up in rural Nepal.



#womenspecial #festival #teej

A photo posted by Anjali Lama (@anjali_lama_official) on



Given the name Navin Waiba at birth, Lama grew up as part of a family of nine, in a rural farming village in Nepal, Nuwakot. She decided to move to the capital, Kathmandu after graduating from high school.


2. Lama began her transition in 2009.



Lama told The Washington Post that she began her transition after watching a Nepalese television show called 'Struggle'. She said: "That day I understood that I am also that kind of person."


But her transition wasn't easy, Lama says she was teased by colleagues and customers at the hotel where she worked: "Mentally I was tortured."


She has also revealed that her brothers and father have not supported her transition: "He'll never see me as a daughter," she said.


3. Lama has appeared in Elle India.



In December 2016, Lama was chosen to appear in Elle India, after it had been announced that she would be walking at fashion week.


4. Lama is an LGBT activist.



Selfie with MissPink2016 winners #TransBeautyQueens

A photo posted by Anjali Lama (@anjali_lama_official) on



Lama was aided through her transition by a charity in Kathmandu, after a chance meeting when she was 19-years-old.


She told The Washington Post that she saw a group of transgender women heading to a club. Approaching them she asked for advice. They gave her the phone number for a community office for LGBT affairs. Two days later, she visited the organisation, and later became a member of staff in 2006.


5. Lama is the first trans person to walk a runway at an Indian fashion show.



The first transgender model to walk an Indian fashion runway. Anjali Lama for #LakmeFashionWeek

A video posted by ELLE India (@elleindiaofficial) on



Organisers of the event told Reuters why they chose Lama, saying: "[We want] to take these conversations forward, shining light on some these issues and bringing them to the national consciousness."