Zara Sheikha, born as Nishant, first came into limelight when her story was shared on Facebook by none other than prominent politician Shashi Tharoor. Zara, Egyptian for a princess, is truly Kerala’s reigning queen– she’s the first transgender person in the country to become an HR consultant.
Despite being a college topper, the self-confessed makeup aficionado was subjected to severe ragging because of her alleged effeminate behaviour. In her second year of college, a professor introduced their class to genetic disorders and chromosomes. That was the eureka moment. Suddenly everything seemed to be making sense to Zara. Watch the video to find out how the victim of bullying found the strength within her to stand up for herself and became a hero in her own right.
In the video, Zara explains that she never had any issues accepting her true self. “Two years ago, I decided to come out. I couldn’t live a lie any longer. My family wasn’t supportive so I decided to move out. That was the start of my journey. Initially, there was a fear of acceptance, it was more about how people would react, and part of it was my nervousness. However, all the bitter past experiences became my courage and motivated me to do what I wanted to do and reach my goal.”
Zara is happy to be a part of the change. She’s now employed at UST Global, a major multinational company in Kerala. “It was my colleagues’ behaviour that surprised me. When I went to the office the first day, I had a sinking feeling as to how others would look at me. Breaking all those pre-conceived notions, they were happy to accommodate me and they all respected my identity. I even use the ladies washroom, which according to me is a great acceptance.” The gritty transgender woman is hopeful her case will serve as a shining example in the fight for equality.
Picture Credits: Josh Talks