Welcome to India's first transgender model agency


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I’m welcomed to the Mitr Trust, an LGBTQI charity based in West Delhi, by a bevy of beckoning beauties, leaning over the balcony, smiling and blowing kisses as I get out of the car.

"Are you going to see the gays?" asks Ravinder, my driver. He is eyeing the modest building cautiously, as we approach in the afternoon sun.

"Be careful," he says.

In India, the practice of homosexuality is still a criminal offence, however, despite this, in the realm of sexual politics the country has taken significant steps forward, particularly in its approach to transgender rights.

During the last 18 months India has seen positive statutory developments in the recognition of the trans or ‘third gender’ community.

Since 2009 transgender people in India have been able to choose their gender as ‘other’ on ballot forms . In 2014 Hijras, India’s transgender minority, were officially, legally recognised by a landmark ruling when the country’s Supreme Court passed a law recognising transgender people as a ‘third gender’, giving them to equal rights and protection.

Last year saw the election of the first ever transgender person in India to public office when Madhu Bai Kinnar became mayor in Raigarh , while trans citizens also acquired other prominent civic roles in the police force and education system.










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