The journey from a common Indian transgender woman to representing India at Miss International Trans 2021 was a roller coaster ride has been a rollercoaster ride for 22-year-old transwoman and model Archie Singh.
Archie Singh just made India and the entire Indian trans* community proud by becoming the first Indian transwoman to win 2nd Runner Up at Miss International Trans 2021 held in Colombia, South America.
“You’re not a real woman," was what an agent for a modelling shoot once Archie Singh.“I am a woman, and I’m trans but I’m equally a woman. My official government ID recognizes me as a woman, and I have had gender-reassignment surgery, I told them," Archie said, remembering the discrimination she faced. “But they didn’t listen. They wanted a ‘woman who wasn’t trans’, but didn’t want to say that," she adds in an interview to News18.
However, Archie’s journey, though not exactly easy - did lead her to the international competition. When Archie reached Columbia, she realized she wasn’t alone. “When I arrived in Colombia and met my fellow contestants, that made me more strong. We nowhave such a platform where trans people can showcase themselves and just.. be ourselves without judgement," she says.
While she did feel like she was part of a much larger community, it was also competition from the very get-go. “I was excited but partly nervous. Participating in this competition was a dream - so it was a competition to make proud India, the LGBTQ community, and my parents," says Archie.
Archie didn’t win first place, but she won more than just the first prize - “I have extended my chosen family and proudly I can say my family is across the world, the world is my family. I’m taking all the learning experiences and positivity with me. And in the future, this bond going to be more strong, there more surprises and new work to do together," she says.
“I am blessed and proud that now I can be a reason to work more towards equality and my community. I feel the journey has begun and there’s a lot of people to encourage, educate to and work for to make this world a better place," she further says on her second runner up win.
Growing up in a middle-class family in Delhi, Archie always knew she was a woman. “From school days, I knew I was a woman, and I am glad my family supported me when I came out," she tells News18.
At just 17 years old, Archie had come out in public about her identity, and she wanted to flaunt it. “I wanted to be the truest version of me, I didn’t want to pretend to be someone else anymore," she said, and then began her career into modelling.
“Before my modelling career, I was doing social work - I was working to spread awareness in people, about trans realities and trying to break the stigma about us," she said. “Modelling just gave me a platform to do that and more. It became my passion."