Bangladesh beauty queen brings ‘dawn of hope’ for trans women


DHAKA (TIP): Bangladeshi trans woman Yasin Ahmed Sokal always wanted the freedom to dress like her sisters, but never in her wildest dreams did she imagine being showered with applause at a beauty pageant in her conservative homeland. For 24-year-old Sokal, her triumph in one of the South Asian nation’s most prestigious beauty contests was not only a personal victory but one that sent a message of hope. Sokal, whose name means “dawn” in Bengali, was this month named second runner-up in Miss Evergreen Bangladesh 2023. “I hope I’ve brought a dawn of hope for trans women in Bangladesh,” Sokol said in the capital Dhaka. “It is a victory for thousands of trans women and thousands of Sokals out there.” Among Bangladesh’s population of 170 million an estimated 1.5 million people are transgender, but they have long faced discrimination and violence.

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