Mumbai: “Difficulties are things that show a person what they are” if Naaz Joshi’s career had to be summed up in one line, this would be apt.
Fighting with all the difficulties in her life Naaz became the first Indian transsexual to win the title of Ms World Diversity 2018. Competing against 22 participants in Dubai, Naaz registered her second pageant in a row.
Meanwhile she is also the first Indian transsexual woman to appear on the cover of a magazine and world’s first woman to endorse a sanitary napkin that goes by the name of Klaren.
Facing problems in very early age made her to start her career in a age of 11 as a bar dancer were later on she worked in McDonalds. Stepping towards success she was selected at NIFT, where she earned a place for herself. Even she worked with fashion legends like Ritu Kumar and Ritu Beri. However, she is no longer associated with any fashion house, because her experience was not very good.
“People should treat everyone equally it’s really hurts when people look at you like and alien ,we too are human beings and we do a part of our society.”
Meanwhile speaking with The Prevalent India, Naaz shared about her successfull career and also said that how a Trans girls or trans women should be treated equally.
Tell us something about yourself from where you started your career?
I started my career at very early age at about 7 yrs , I started working at Dhabhas, restaurants and from age of 11yrs I started working in a dance bar, my height has been asset to me since beginning, then I was selected at NIFT and I did evening jobs at McDonalds and wimpy is c.p. after that I worked with two big designers of the country, then my own label, then as sex worker and later became model.
By profession you’re fashion designer, what made you to turn into modeling?
I am a designer, and will always be, I don’t do it professionally, but I do it for myself. I had to quit designing when I saw a lot of money was going into making clothes and I had zero sales because I was a trans. So I had to shut that business. From being a designer to a model I had to cover 6 dark years of my life.
You are the first Indian transsexual to win ‘Ms World Diversity’ how are you feeling? And What was your experience?
When I won the competition, I felt that this is the end, it is the end of my struggle. I hired a PR agency to do this work. And they wrongly spread the news that I am the first transgender to win the title. I am the world’s first transgender who has won an international competition with women and first Indian trans female to get the title of a beauty contest for India. Before me no one has actually brought a crown for India in my community. So if they did their job right, perhaps I would have touched the skies.
You were the first transsexual to appear on the cover of a magazine and endorse a sanitary napkin advertisement, please say something on this?
I was India’s first transgender cover model and also world’s first transgender to be endorsing a Sanitary pad that goes by the name Clarins, it was very proud moment for me when I did these two things in my life actually I was being shot by a photographer name Rishi Taneja, and he was working on the biopic of a transgender and as a muse he chose me, he followed me for good two years and he sent pictures to alot of Publication houses and the Tehelka took a look at those pictures and the thought me to put me on the cover of the magazine.
You faced sexual abuse in a very early age would you like to share something about that? Did you got support from your family?
I was left out of my family at a very young age, I was 7 years old, I was living with my uncle in Mumbai, when I was 11 years old, then his son raped me when he was about 18 years old. And I could not do anything because uncle and aunt, but they did not believe me about this, because it was their son later on I had to leave that place and run away from there. After that I worked in dance bar for next 7 years till the time, I entered NIFT whatever I have done in my life good or bad have never had friends and never had support my family.
You also worked in Massage parlour would you like to share something about it?
The time comes in everyone’s life where you can die or you can sell yourself to survive, In my life where I had no job I had no money and nothing to eat so that was time were I found a job at massage parlour and they told me that it’s a job of a manager but I didnt know that I had to do sex, i didn’t want to do in my life but I have no regrets because whatever decision have taken my life have they have been totally my own and I don’t want to keep put anybody responsible for that.
What forms of subtitle discrimination do transgender people often experience at work?
Basically many transgenders get stuck in work, they are not only discriminated, but they are called by names such as Hijra Chakka and many more its emotional and physical stress is not to cooperate with people. And make fun of us all the time.
What does a welcoming and safe work environment for a transgender person look like?
Welcoming atmosphere at work should not be compromise of peace and equality. Trans girls or trans women should also be treated equally, we should not be looked at sympathetically but people should look at our talent not a gender not our sex, because talent is not dependent on gender, we are talented we have brains, we have education what all we need is a atmosphere where we can work calmly. And we do also have talent to make companies work in a better direction provided, our staff our employees, they help us in achieving goals together.
What would you like to address the people?
I would like to tell people that we should not discriminate a person basis on gender caste creed or sex, they should treat everyone equally it’s really hurts when people look at you like and alien, we too are human beings and we do a part of our society we are born out of a straight mother and straight father if you born as transgenders is not your fault, so why the whole life we are punished for something we are not responsible ? so people I don’t want your sympathy but I want humanity.