Tamil Nadu is India’s most transgender-friendly state. First, it floated a welfare board exclusively for transgenders. It recently started a special quota for their admission in government colleges. Now, Chennai is going to host a beauty pageant for transgenders in December. “They are being forced into prostitution and begging. The popular perception of them as mere sex objects must be changed. This is an attempt in that direction,” says AJ Hariharan, secretary of Indian Community Welfare Organisation, the NGO organising the event. As many as 150 transgenders from across the country are expected to participate in the Miss India Transgender contest.
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