A few weeks after the story on Nepal’s receptiveness to the idea of a transgender representing them on the fashion runway was published, migme Mega Model Season 3’s first transgender contestant Zenisha Tamang (@zenishapakhrintmg) was eliminated.
Zenisha had one of the best photos for the ‘moving bus photoshoot’ episode, impressing the judges with her facial expressions and confident body language. A month later, she was eliminated because her expressions were, according to Judge Prashant Tamrakar, “very hard”.
After the news broke on @megamodelofficial, many fans expressed their sadness on her elimination. A fan thought that she should not have been eliminated so early on in the competition. On migme’s Facebook page, one commenter Grishma Gale agreed and said that she is the most gorgeous, courageous and confident among other girls she have seen on the show. Another fan, @cut33_gal, commented that most of the people in Nepal cannot adapt to transgenders because they are raised with the “fact” that there is only cisgender.
Gay, lesbian and transgender people have long faced discrimination in Nepal. Despite the notable advances on paper, the actual lives for the vast majority of LGBT people in Nepal is still challenging due to widespread poverty, rigid social norms, and an unsympathetic legal framework and bureaucracy. For Zenisha, she was forced to breakup with her boyfriend when his family learnt that Zenisha was a boy. She also lives away from her home because her community does not accept her, especially the elderly people in Nepal.
Despite being one of the few countries to issue a third-gender passport, the LGBT community in Nepal is still cast out and unwanted. This was even more apparent when it was hit with an earthquake back in April 2015. In the temporary camps set up across Kathmandu for earthquake survivors, facilities are segregated into male and female–excluding third gender people. In a society where the LGBTs are cast out by their families to fend for themselves, the lack of both physical and moral support can be daunting.
Zenisha had hoped that she would inspire not just the LGBT community, but to all those who dreamt to be something through Mega Model. She had made a huge impact through this modelling platform, garnering not just the support of the local but the support of people globally. After the previous article was published, tons of online support poured in for Zenisha and the LGBT community.
Fellow countryman Sumahang San Gyta Rayee posted in the comments: “Why do you hate someone who’s trying to attempt something big? (Is it) because she is different from the rest? Widen your mind. Respect transgender!”
Another Nepali Sid Sherpa agreed and wrote: “Everyone’s got the freedom to be themselves and deserves the respect like every other person. Nepal needs to be more accepting and open minded. Our society has always been the same throughout the time. Yet, (there have been) people who did things differently and have made a mark globally.”
However with Zenisha’s (@zenishapakhrintmg) elimination from Mega Model, it seems that she will have to find another platform to inspire change.
This article was first published at: http://discover.mig.me/2016/01/19/elimination-transgender-mega-model-aud365/