A portfolio of lead roles in ‘mobile theatre’, two films, a degree in Fashion and Apparel designing from Bangalore, and several design prizes.
With that repertoire, 27-year-old Bishesh Huirem from Manipur is preparing to leave for Chonburi, Thailand, where she will represent India at the Miss International Beauty Queen contest.
Ms. Huirem is among 30 transgenders selected for the event taking place on November 9, out of a large number of applicants from 155 countries.
The Fashion and Apparel design degree from Bangalore University that she earned came after the acting roles in mobile theatre, a popular form of entertainment in the northeast.
She shot to popularity with those soon after school. Today she is among the highest paid actors, with a tally of several awards.
The popular Manipuri stage personality started out with her beauty parlour and make-up salon for brides. Then there were the two films.
Her mother, Khomdonleima, recalls that, “As a child she was attracted toward girls’ clothes and her grand mother would bring such dresses for her. I beat her several times to get her to change her orientation. I now realise that was a mistake.”
Talent round in contest
Ms. Huirem looks forward to the contest in Thailand, which is to be held over 10 days, featuring a talent round as well.
The excitement is muted, however, by the absence of sponsors for the trip. She is keen to take a shot at the crown this time, as a previous attempt was thwarted by a delayed passport and visa.
Her father, Manglem Huirem has expressed his reservations about the ‘show’. Incidentally, he had carved a niche for himself as a comedian in films and mobile theatre playing a woman, something that he justifies as “mere acting.”
Hostility in Manipur
Ms. Huirem told the “Poknapham” newspaper in Manipur that she is proud to represent India at the international contest of transgenders, but regretted the discrimination that her community faces in her home State.
Many are hostile, and members of the community in Manipur are often segregated and treated badly.
What causes immediate worry for the contestant is the absence of financial backers, something that she has to sort out before she can leave Imphal to attend the event as planned, on October 27.
News Source: The Hindu