It was her big moment. Anjali Lama sashayed down the catwalk in the swanky Mumbai auditorium. A fitted, cream dress highlighted her tall, slender frame. Her pulled-back hair showed off her high cheekbones.
Modeling at Lakme Fashion Week often seemed like a dream far beyond her reach, but Lama has become the first transgender woman to model at one of the top events on India’s fashion calendar and one sponsored by a top Indian cosmetics brand.
Growing up as the fifth son in a poor farming family in Nepal, Lama didn’t dream early in life to be a fashion model. First was the painful struggle to accept that she felt deeply female.
“I knew even as a child that I didn’t like being a boy, wearing those clothes,” Lama said by phone as she juggled fittings and photo-shoots in Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital.
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