It was a photo exhibition with a difference: its theme was transgenders.
K. Venkatesh who clicked the photographs, displayed at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat on Monday, informed The Observer: “I wanted to do something with the deserted trees that have been cut down. But clicking pictures of merely the trees would have looked so dull. So I thought of bringing transgenders into the frame. Just like the deserted trees, they are a less acknowledged community. They complement each other through these photos.”
The transgender models photographed were excited to see their pictures. They said they felt the essence of achievement.
Sumitra, one of the models, said: “We feel so happy. It is not our first work with Venkatesh Sir; yet it felt so different this time. All we want to say through this exhibition is ‘live and let live’. We are no different. Our society needs to accept that not everyone is born perfect. We don’t love begging. We want to work and earn money in a respectable manner. We beg only because society does not give us jobs.”
Lawyer C.S. Dwarakanath, who inaugurated the event, said: “It is unique and interesting. I think this is the first time something like this has been done in our country. I hope people broaden their minds about transgenders. They are a part of our society.” He also asked for the reservation for transgenders.
There were more than 40 photographs and five models. Each one of them had a tree in the backdrop. Deepu, Stella, and Sushmita were among those photographed.
Venkatesh shared: “They souls look gorgeous and unpretentious in their own attire making a bold statement that they are no less than the most glamorous.”
Ravi, a visitor to the exhibition, said: “This event will help to bring the community into the picture. They should get more recognition.”
Rajesh, head of Sangama, an NGO that works for the rights of the LGBT community, said: “The transgender community should be given reservation. They should be uplifted. The media should portray the community not in the way they want to but in the way the transgenders want to. The Constitution of India gives fundamental rights to everyone. It includes them too.”
The event acted as a platform for an interaction between the transgenders and visitors. Venkatesh said he hopes the small initiative will bring some change in society.