“I am not a gay man. I am a transwoman,” wrote Swapnil Shinde in an Instagram post.
The Bollywood fashion designer, best known for dressing A-list Bollywood actors including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anushka Sharma, Madhuri Dixit, and Sunny Leone has come out as a transwoman.
Now named Saisha Shinde, she penned a note on Instagram about her journey in becoming a transwoman, and also revealed her new look. Several celebrities posted praiseworthy and heartwarming comments on Saisha's post and new photos shared on Instagram page.
Explaining her post and name, she captioned, “Here we go 2021. P.s : Saisha means a meaningful life and I plan to make mine an exceptionally meaningful one”.
Saisha shared how she was bullied for being different, writing, “Irrespective of your origin, there will always be something that reminds you of your childhood. For me, it takes me back to the kind of loneliness that aches, to pressures that pushed me into solitude and the chaos of confusion that grew every moment. All through school and college, while the boys outside tormented me because I was different, the internal pain was far worse. I felt suffocated living a reality that I knew wasn’t mine, yet one that I had to stage everyday because of societal expectations and norms.”
She continued how it was at fashion designing school that she managed to accept her truth, “It was only in my early 20s at NIFT where I found the courage to accept my truth; I truly bloomed. I spent the next few years believing that I was attracted to men because I was gay.
She stated that it was only six years ago that she finally accepted to herself. “And today I accept you,” her note read.
In her Instagram stories, Saisha also talked about how hearing people address her by ma'am now instead of sir made her feel. She wrote, "So this is what freedom feels like."
(Edited by Anju Narayanan)