Sruthy Sithara has made India proud by winning the title of Ms Trans Global Universe 2021. The 25-year-old Kerala native is the first Indian to hold this title, held during an online event.
“Miss Trans Global 2021. This smile means a lot. For me, for my community, for my country, for the transglobal organisation, for all those who are oppressed and marginalised. Here I am, Sruthy Sithara, Miss Trans Global 2021 Title Winner. Thank you so much to all who are behind this successful journey,” Sruthy posted.
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Sruthy says she was only expecting a position among the top five in the six-month-long competition, and that the title came as a surprise to her. She thanked her fellow competitors as well as her family for the achievement.
Meanwhile, many chimed in to congratulate her, including Kerala Higher Education Minister Dr R Bindu. “Keralite Sruthy Sithara has been selected as Miss Trans Global 2021, a title she achieved after a long fight against prejudices galore and the narrow mindset of our society. A matter of immense pride for Kerala. Congratulations Sruthy.”
Keralite Sruthy Sithara has been selected as Miss Trans Global 2021, a title she achieved after a long fight against prejudices galore and the narrow mindset of our society. A matter of immense pride for Kerala. Congratulations Sruthy… pic.twitter.com/tJThRAHBJy
— Dr R Bindu (@rbinducpm) December 2, 2021
In an interview, Sruthy said, “Since the competition had been going for so long, the participants have been keeping in contact through social media groups. We couldn’t meet physically as the pageant was held online this year. It would have been much more exciting to meet everyone in London, where the pageant was supposed to take place. But that didn’t affect the camaraderie or the pressure. I think online was much tougher to pull off.”
‘It’s a privilege’
Hailing from Kottayam, Sruthy works as the project assistant at Kerala Government’s Transgender Cell.
“I grew up in a family that has always loved me to bits. My mom is no more, but my dad, brother and his wife have all been extremely supportive of me. Thanks to them, I didn’t have to endure a phase of fights in my locality either, unlike many trans people. Your family is your first society and if they accept you, the rest of the world will have to follow suit,” Sruthy said in an interview with Times Of India.
Regardless, she experienced many roadblocks along her journey; constant bullying in school, an identity crisis, and more.
“I too have been subjected to various kinds of ‘treatment’ a transgender person would usually face from peers at school and college. My effeminate nature has often made me the butt of jokes and hurtful comments. There were many who found one reason or the other to poke fun at me, but I managed to handle it by changing the subject, laughing it off or acting as though I didn’t pay attention. I have hardly reacted to the mean comments aimed at me,” shared Sruthy with TOI.
In college, she had the opportunity to meet a few members of the trans community at an event held in Kochi. She says that this made her realise that it being trans was completely normal, and she decided to embrace who she was.
In order to normalise LGBTQ rights and create public acceptance towards queer relationships, Sruthy and her friends started an online campaign called The Kaleidoscope. “We want the world to know we are normal and are an equal part of society. Many people who are scared to come out have been approaching me about their struggles,” she told The New Indian Express.
“[I am] Privileged to be a transgender person, [and] will inspire everyone to come through with flying colours with determination and positive attitude towards life. That’s my motto too,” said Sruthy while answering a question about her wishes of contributing to society, at a trans beauty pageant, Kochi in 2018.
Sruthy has also been crowned the Most Eloquent Queen at the pageant. She wishes to work for the betterment of trans lives and support them in every possible way.