India crowns new Miss Transqueen
India has a new Miss Transqueen -- and she's headed for the world stage, determined to speak out for the country's marginalized transgender community.
Fashion designer Shaine Soni was crowned Miss Transqueen India, the country's beauty pageant for transgender women, on Saturday. She will represent India at next year's Miss International Queen, the world's biggest pageant for transgender women.
Miss Transqueen India was first established in 2017, and involves all the trappings of a traditional beauty pageant -- photoshoots, talent rounds, elaborate costumes, judges and hundreds of audience members.
This year, organizers were unable to hold the competition due to the pandemic, which prompted a national lockdown from late March to May. But Reena Rai, chairwoman and founder of Miss Transqueen India, wasn't ready to give up; she was determined to send a contestant to represent India in the 2021 international pageant.