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Transgender model Anjali Lama makes history at India’s Lakm Fashion Week

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(CNN)With strong stage presence and striking features, 32-year-old Anjali Lama looks at home among the sea of models at Lakm Fashion Week in Mumbai.

But with every step on the runway, she is making history.
Born Nabin Waiba, as a boy growing up in the rural district of Nuwakot in Nepal, Lama was often severely bullied for having feminine tendencies.
    This week — as Anjali Lama — she became the first transgender model to grace the catwalk at India’s premiere fashion event.

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    Lakm Fashion Week made diversity a key priority this year, specifically looking to cast unique faces and features. This season, alongside Lama, another gender neutral model will walk the runway in Mumbai. The organization has also put together what they call a “tag-free” show, which rejects labels and rigid categories.
    “Fashion is looked at as a closed society. People feel it is out of reach and untouchable. We want to change that” said Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head (Fashion), at IMG Reliance, the event owners of Lakm Fashion Week.
    This move, so far, has been a success.
    Chandok says that more plus size and transgender models have started to reach out to them for future castings.
    But for Lama, seeing a more diverse lineup on the catwalk is only half the battle. Once the curtains close, she hopes to encourage confidence in sexual minorities off the runway as well.
    “I just want to live life the way I want, and I’m not scared to do it.”
    This interview has been translated from Hindi. It has been edited for length and clarity.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/02/fashion/anjali-lama-transgender-model-india-lakme-fashion-week/index.html

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