Kerala’s Sruthy Sithara, who represented India at the Ms Trans Global Universe pageant for the past six months, did not imagine that she was going to be crowned the ultimate winner. Sure, Sithara had hopes of finishing in the top five, but the ultimate honour was an unforeseen joy. As per a report by The New Indian Express, Sithara received the award in the early hours of December 1 in an online event, sitting at her hometown of Vaikom in Kerala. As soon as the news broke, congratulations poured in from near and dear ones. “I’m so happy, excited. I never expected such a feat. I have been preparing and participating in the competition for months. And now, it all has ended on such a high note," the report quoted them as saying. As this year’s pageant was held online, all the contestants had kept in touch through social media groups, Sithara told the publication.
Was the online version of the pageant any different from the physical thing, apart from the obvious aspect? Sithara explained that while the pressure and the camaraderie among the contestants were pretty much the same, she felt that pulling the contest off in the online mode has been much tougher. Sithara has always been a champion of LGBTQ+ rights. Previously, she was a part of the transgender cell at the Social Justice Department. It is no surprise that, as someone who often speaks at reach-out programmes organised by educational institutions, Sithara won the title of the Most Eloquent Queen at the pageant.
Sithara was followed by the contestants from Philippines and Canada in the top spots at the pageant. Currently, she has been putting her heart into a campaign called The Kaleidoscope, which aims to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ groups and normalisation of queer relationships. Sithara dedicated her crown to her mother and late friend Anannyah Kumari Alex, Kerala’s first transgender RJ, who died by suicide recently, having alleged medical negligence by a Kochi hospital. Alex, who also contested for the state assembly polls, was found dead at her apartment in Kochi. She had complained of serious health issues following her sex reassignment surgery last year.