Photos: Trans persons show us their authentic selves in Truth Dream

Transgender and non-binary people were asked to dress in the personas they felt reflected their inner selves. See how beautifully

Updated on Jan 22, 2022 08:24 PM IST 9 Photos

In Bengaluru, Payana, an NGO working to empower Karnataka’s sexual minorities, collaborated with Maraa, a media and arts collective, to offer 12 members from the city’s transgender community a chance to dress like they feel. What emerged were looks that borrowed from pop culture, cinema, myth and everyday reality. Lakshmi, 54, picked a bejewelled golden sari and ornate jewellery, inspired by images she’d seen of maharanis of Mysore. (Photo courtesy Jaisingh Nageswaran)

Some, like Bernie, 55, found enough inspiration in everyday ideas of what was stylish. The sculptor posed as a drag king, complete with suit, moustache and beard. He wanted to impress his girlfriend and friends, he said.(Photo courtesy Jaisingh Nageswaran)

Chandni, 49, a relationship manager at a tech company, founded Payana in 2009, and thought up the photo project. Her own fantasy: to dress like Kalidasa’s Shakuntala, a beautiful woman and daughter of a royal sage. “I thought this would make a man fall in love with me,” she says. (Photo courtesy Jaisingh Nageswaran)


Costumes, makeup, hair and backdrops filled out the fantasies. Reshma, 60, embodied the look of the late actress Sridevi. She posed in a blue sari, inspired by the song Kaate Nahi Kat Te from Mr India (1987). (Photo courtesy Jaisingh Nageswaran)

Shobhana’s look drew on mythology, specifically Ardhanaishvara, a male-female form of Shiva, with his consort, Parvati. (Photo courtesy Jaisingh Nageswaran)