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Transgender model Anjali Lama breaks barriers in India’s fashion world

In this Feb. 1, 2017 photo, Anjali Lama, a transgender model from Nepal, displays a creation by designer Gen Next during Lakme Fashion week in Mumbai, India. To model for Lakme Fashion Week, one of the highlights of India's fashion calendar, is Lama's big moment. It's a dream that was years in the making and often seemed far beyond the reach of Lama now being touted as the first transgender woman to model for the high fashion event sponsored by a top Indian cosmetics brand. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

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.

See full story here

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