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Dancing to the Future

At a conference in Goa, transgenders share their stories and discuss empowerment plans.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

21st December 2012 06:25

Alessia Valenza

Navya Singh stood out amidst the crowd of transgenders dancing on a cruise ship in Goa. In a black tee and tight jeans, Singh swayed with the ease of a professional dancer. “That’s because I am a bar dancer in Mumbai,” said the 24-year-old, who belongs to Chandigarh. But dancing on the ship in Goa, with other transgenders, was a different experience for her. “I feel born again here,” she said, with a wide grin. A far cry from how she feels about her job in Mumbai. “I became a bar dancer because I had no option,” said Singh, a commerce ­graduate who earlier worked as a counsellor with an NGO in Mumbai, before she quit as she had to go to Chandigarh. “When I returned to Mumbai, nobody was willing to employ me, so I became a bar dancer,” she said. And then, her boyfriend left her ­“because his family didn’t accept me the way I am.”

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