LIVA Miss Diva 2021 redefines beauty norms with Dipanjali Chhetri, first ever trans woman participant who made it to the Top 50, who is all set to participate in the pageant with the hope of creating an identity not just for herself but of the entire LGBTQ+ community.
Beauty pageants have long been a stage for the representation of the binary, however, that is set to make a historic and a progressive change with 24-year-old Dipanjali Chhetri who has set her foot as a participant of the coveted title.
"I am proud that I grabbed this opportunity to become the first trans woman to participate in one of the most recognized beauty queen creator platforms - Miss Diva. It's not just a stage for me to showcase my beauty and talent, but this opening has enabled me an opportunity to prove who I really am - a woman.
It's a great moment of pride for all trans women who aspire to be beauty queens, models and showcase their true selves. It was possible only because of this historic decision of inclusivity by Miss Diva, counting trans women like any other women. So now that the door is open, I wish many more women from my community will participate without hesitation each year," exclaimed Dipanjali who hails from Jaldhaka Village in Kalimpong district, West Bengal.
She was raised by her parents alongside five daughters and one son Sarwan Chhetri, now Dipanjali Chhetri.
Dipanjali had a difficult time coming out to her family, which just like most families, relied on a son to take the legacy forward. Her sustained attempts to testify her identity went in vain as they failed to acknowledge that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body.
The diva soon flew to Delhi to carve a future for herself. She was finally accepted by her family post-surgery. As she competes undefeated at the stage, she holds everyone including her family very close, in high regards and gratitude.
"I would like to thank everyone who supported me and loved me the way I am — also thanking those who failed to accept me and thus inspired me to work hard and recognize my dreams. I believe in caring and supporting each other no matter what. So, love everyone, and expect the same in return,” she said.
"The pageant accepting me for who I am is the best gift I could ask for. I promise to give my best performance and make my country proud. As society keeps giving me a new name every single day, I want to make sure that they remember my name - Dipanjali Chhetri, even after my participation at LIVA Miss Diva 2021," she said when asked about her parent’s expectations from her participation in the pageant.