Fashion designer Shaine Soni accepted the crown of Miss Transqueen India on Saturday night. She previously volunteered as a stylist and coach for the competition. Unable to stage the pageant in 2020 due to COVID-19, the pageant founder chose Shaine Soni to represent India in Miss International Queen 2021.
Pageant founder Reena Rai says Miss Transqueen India is not only a beauty pageant.
“It is a way to let the trans queens embark on a new journey with Pride and Dignity.”
Reena Rai told CNN that although cisgender, she became involved in the LGBTIQ+ community after meeting transgender women.
“People mock them for wearing red lipstick or putting on stilettos…
“I wanted to create a platform where people would applaud them for wearing red lipstick and putting on stilettos.
“I wanted to create an awareness that all they need is a platform and that they can do anything like all the rest of us if given the chance.”
The first Miss Transqueen India pageant
Unable to attract sponsorship for the first pageant in 2017, Reena Rai mortgaged her house and went bankrupt that first year.
But with the support of Shaine Soni and others, she survived.
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Soni always previously stayed in the background at the pageant because of family concerns. She described her transition as ‘the elephant in the room’ that she and her family do not discuss.
However, during her time behind the scenes at Miss Transqueen India, she became involved in advocacy.
“I am in a place where I can accept this title because I have gone through so much and know how difficult it is to be where I am today.”
“If someone reads about me and finds comfort, I think my purpose is absolutely met.”