I became one of the highest-paid trans call girls of my time,

Naaz is India’s first transgender international beauty queen, a trans rights activist and a motivational speaker.
Her journey to success has not been easy. The story of her struggle is powerful, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
Born as a transgender in Delhi in 1980, she was named Aiyaz, which she later changed to Naaz.

Naaz’s Childhood

At a tender age of seven, Naaz’s family sent her away to her uncle in Mumbai. To earn her school fees, she did menial jobs in dhabas and restaurants.
Her childhood miseries, however, ceased to come to an end.
At the age of 11, she was gang-raped by her cousin and his friends, but was forced to remain quiet on this matter. 
While she was in the hospital, she came across a transgender who helped her find a job at a dance bar. She worked there for seven years.
“In spite of all the odds, I ensured to complete my schooling in 1998. I met one of my cousins around that time, who was kind and sponsored my education at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology),” Naaz says.
She got placed from her campus, and worked with notable persons like Ritu Kumar and Ritu Beri with the designing and merchandising.
Naaz’s struggle, however, continued.

Life As A Sex Worker

Not able to find a suitable job between 2010 and 2013, Naaz started as a sex worker.
“Sex work would probably be the last option any woman would choose. When I had no money and no one hired trans women, I found work in sex trade. I became one of the highest-paid trans call girls of my time, but I felt dead inside,” Naaz says.
“Although I thought of death sometimes, I knew destiny had other plans for me. I don’t believe in suicide because life is a gift from God, and we must embrace it,” she adds.


Naaz underwent a sex reassignment surgery in 2013, and thus began her modelling career.
“I have never really had my family around. I had no friends either because no one would want to be seen with me. I had no support either financially or emotionally when I went for the sex reassignment surgery. But I still remember the liberating feeling that I got after my struggles and effort bore fruit,” Naaz says.
Naaz says she didn’t plan on pageantry. It was what destiny had in store for her.
“It all happened by chance. In 2016, I was working with a pageant as a choreographer and one day I had an argument with the makers of the show. They misbehaved with me, and I decided to show them that I was strong enough to become something in my life,” Naaz says.
“I started my own pageant system MIHM for women, in 2017. We would send photographs of women for Miss World Diversity, and one day my assistant sent my photograph by mistake. Consequently, I was selected,” she adds.
Naaz first won Miss World Diversity in 2017, and retained her title the following year as well.
“I then became the first transgender to win the title for the third consecutive year in 2019,” she says.
Soon after, Naaz adopted a 10-month-old girl, becoming a proud mother.
Naaz says that when she began participating in pageants, there were no trans-pageant contests in India and she won her three international pageants in women contests. However, there are now trans beauty pageants in the country.
Next year, she will represent India at Belgium for Miss International Trans 2020.

“Society Still Needs To Change”

Despite her success, Naaz feels that there is a lot that needs to change in society when it comes to acceptance and people’s outlook towards the LGBTQIA+ community. 
“I did make my country proud, but in the end, I became bankrupt again. I had to sleep in the railway station and struggle to earn a basic livelihood,” Naaz says. 
Naaz Trans Beauty Queen
“Today, I am in need of money, but society expects me to work as a model, free of cost. Organizers want to save money. But they need to realise that making us work without pay is exploitation,” she adds.
“When a woman wins a renowned competition, she gets a number of ad campaigns, movies, we write about her, we talk about her. But when a trans woman wins, people hardly seem to care. We need to be more sensitive,” she further says.
Naaz believes that a lot still needs to change. Despite all the equality and advancement that the country talks about, trans people are still met with awkward glances and numerous prejudices. 
Naaz is now interning at the LaLit, New Delhi in the communications field. 
“I am very thankful to Mr Keshav Suri, who has given me this opportunity. I was in a business where I suffered a huge loss, I applied to a lot of corporate houses but faced rejection at every step.”
But here, she is being trained and if she proves herself, she might as well bag the job.
In a final message to those who are struggling to make something out of their lives, Naaz says: “Never give up and never consider anything in your life a barrier. Never get frustrated with struggle, because failure is the sweetener that shall make your success sumptuous for you.”

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