Monday 13 April 2015

Interview with Meghna Lama

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Meghna Lama, a Nepalese model, and beauty pageant queen. Hello Meghna!
Meghna: Hello Monika, Namaste!
Monika: Meghna, you look absolutely beautiful! What is the secret of your everlasting beauty?
Meghna: :) Thanks for your compliment. There is no secret about my beauty; we just have to think and feel that we are beautiful with the glow that comes automatically on our faces.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Meghna: I just feel that when we are born into this world we all have to face many difficulties and problems in every walk of life, regardless of whether are male, female, or LGBTI, so I don’t worry about it, and I always love to face it and at the end success comes close to me.

At the audition of the fashion show.

Monika: How does it feel to be a beautiful model? :)
Meghna: I know that everyone thinks it feels so amazing to be beautiful; I can only add that being transgender and working with ladies as beautiful models make me feel very proud of myself.
Monika: How did you start your modeling career?
Meghna: When I participated in the Miss Pink pageant (Miss Transgender Nepal) and I got crowned as Miss Pink Nepal I felt that I could also do something in the modeling field. No matter what my sexuality was, I felt that I was perfect in this field so I tried modeling right after my crowning in 2010.
Monika: The fashion industry is full of beautiful transgender models: Roberta Close in the past, now you, Lea T, Felipa Tavares, Andreja Pejić, Valentijn de Hingh, and many more. How could you explain such a great interest of the fashion industry in transgender ladies?
Meghna: Because fashion is not about sexuality, all we have to have is talent and courage to enter this industry. The fashion industry is such a great platform where everyone gets a chance to come in no matter what they are.
Monika: What kind of outfits do you usually wear when you do not do modeling? Any special fashion designs or colors?
Meghna: I love to wear outfits, depending on the situation. If I go to the temple I love to wear a kurtha, if I go to do some advocacy, I love to wear a sari, and if I go to the party then I love to wear designer clothes, etc.

At fashion show of Tenzin Tseten Bhutia,
a very famous designer from Nepal.

Monika: With your talent, beauty, and intelligence, you would be a great actress. Have you ever thought about acting?
Meghna: Yes. It’s my dream and I love to be an actress; even I have been trying for Bollywood but till now I haven’t got any opportunity, so I hope that one day I might get a chance to work and express my talents; so I am waiting for this special day. :)
Monika: In 2010 you participated in the Miss International Queen pageant, organized in Thailand for the most beautiful transgender women in the world. How do you recollect that event?
Meghna: Being a transgender myself, it was really such a great chance for me to compete at the international level. Although I was not the winner of that event, I got a chance to gather a lot of new experiences, ideas, and new hope that transgender women can do the same things as other cis women.
Monika: What was the atmosphere among the pageant contestants? Did you have a chance to make friends with some of them?
Meghna: Yes, being all transgender, we were very much alike, we were close to each other, and we spent lots of time together. We shared our ideas and helped each other. Although we were from different countries, we became friends and since then we have been socializing with each other. They are really very good friends!
Monika: Did you take part in any other beauty pageants?
Meghna: Not exactly in a beauty pageant but I participated in the contest Face of Panache runway, which was organized by the top fashion designer from India - Vishal Kapoor, and there were around 23 contestants: male, female, and only me transgender. The winner had to collect many votes and I won that contest. I was so proud that I got more support than my male and cis female counterparts.

Representing Nepal at the 2010 Miss
International Queen pageant.

Monika: At the time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Meghna: There were not such any transgender models. Only female/male models used to be there at that time.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Meghna: I have faced a lot of discrimination because of my sexuality. I was perfect for modeling but I got rejected many times because of my gender identity.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in Nepalese society?
Meghna: There have been many substantial changes but we still haven’t got equal rights like others. Still, we are discriminated against because of our sexuality.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Meghna: Love is very important in our life. Everyone needs love. Regardless of my being transgender, I receive a lot of love from my family, and special friend who accepts me as I am, and he also loves me so much, which encourages and empowers me so much.
Monika: You have a perfect figure. What do you do to stay so slim? :)
Meghna: :) Nothing that special, just some daily workout and special dancing.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Meghna: Yes, I have thought about it for a long time but now it’s not the right time for me. Maybe after achieving more success in my life.

Newspaper photoshoot at Milan International.

Monika: Are you working on any new projects?
Meghna: Currently I am working as human rights advocate and on some new modeling projects like wonder emporium events.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls, dreaming about such a career like yours?
Meghna: It’s not easy to get success in this field but the thing is that if someone feels that they are perfect in this field then they have to try and try until they are successful. 
Monika: Meghna, thank you for the interview!

All the photos: Courtesy of Meghna Lama.
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska

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