Over the past two days, hundreds of individuals, transgender activists, political leaders, entrepreneurs and the LGBT community have come together for the ongoing international transgender festival, Trans Diamond, currently happening in Bengaluru.
Being held from December 6 to December 10, the festival has been organised by ‘Make Room’, which is an Indian-European social change ecosystem, in collaboration with various national and international organisations from across Asia and Europe.
Miks Celmiņš, co-founder of Make Room, told The Better India that most transgender events that have been previously organised in India have been all about discussing issues but with a limited audience in attendance and with transgender individuals already working within the space.
He says that there was a need to establish a sort of forum that could generate opportunities as well.
“We were looking at an ecosystem, where we could gather like-minded people to create a tangible outcome even after the festival is over,” he told TBI.
The 5-day long festival will have building workshops, a social beauty pageant, inspirational talks, open forum and film screenings. It will also have 25 carefully chosen changemakers consisting of young LGBT individuals, allies and other stakeholders identify current challenges of the community and undergo an intense training program to co-create contextual solutions.
The International Transgender Social Beauty pageant at the festival will have participants from Asia and Europe, who will meet the local community leaders, undergo personality enhancing coaching program to be confident individuals, set career goals and be positive role models for the transgender community.
Miks adds that a lot of people were against the idea of organising beauty pageants within the transgender community.
“But after discussions, we all agreed that if we want to create a platform, we can’t pick and choose what’s wrong and what’s right. We should just facilitate a dialogue and let people decide what they want to do,” he says.
In the next few days, you will witness an open space art project, panel sessions, an inspirational talk by Gauri Sawant, film screenings, cultural performance and after parties as well. Through the festival, the organisers want to identify leaders within the community, build capacities to be able to create solutions for the gravest issues and be the platform to showcase the artistic talents of the community.
The Better India is the Digital Media Partner of the event, and will also be moderating one of the panel sessions on Day 4 of the festival.
You can see the schedule here.