Manipuri transgender actor and beautician Bishesh Huirem has been selected to represent India in the upcoming Miss International Queen 2016. The world’s most recognisable beauty pageant for transgender women is held annually in Pattaya City, Thailand since its inception in 2004.
As the transgender beauty from Imphal prepares for her debut international break scheduled for 9th November, the LGBT community in her state Manipur is equally celebrating the benchmark of her achievements. Unlike other parts of the country, the valley of Imphal, in the midst of nine hills, has been celebrating and supporting alternative sexuality for years.
The 28-year-old Bishesh is now one of Manipur’s most sought-after Shumang Leela actors for Nupi Maanbis or Nupi Sabhis role and has also acted in few local Manipuri silver screens including It’s my Choice and Ang Tamo. In 2000, she participated in the first Miss Transgender Manipur, when she was barely 14 years old. A leap of years later, she has won Miss Transgender Manipur contest five times in a row.
Today, Bishesh’s family respects her sexuality. But unlike her, many Nupi Nanbis (Gay community) still adopt mannish mannerisms in public, and bow to pressure to marry women and produce children.
In this year’s Miss Transgender Manipur 2016, twenty participants turned up for the beauty pageant auditions staged at the Hotel Yaiphaba on July 31.