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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

‘I’m more confident than Swapnil ever was’: Saisha Shinde

The fashion designer wrote a heartwarming note on the first year anniversary of coming out as a transgender woman.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
January 5, 2022 7:30:57 pm
saisha shindeSaisha Shinde dedicates a note to herself on the first year anniversary of coming out as a transwoman (Source: Saisha Shinde/Instagram)

Fashion designer Saisha Shinde, earlier known as Swapnil Shinde, shared a note on “feeling more confident” ever since she came out as a transgender woman.

On the first year anniversary of the announcement, Saisha shared a montage of pictures of her earlier self, as Swapnil, along with some recent images in a swimming pool and said: “Swapnil was always conscious of his body…he hated it that it was not masculine enough (although it was all in his head). He always wore a T-shirt and went in the pool. The T shirt sticking to the body was extremely uncomfortable as it showed his slightly feminine body and so he would remain in the pool only keeping his head out!”

Saisha added how the “idea of a pool party or anything related to the pool was scary”. “Because not every pool owner is going to allow people in with a shirt on! Swapnil missed out on a lot of amazing times until December 30, 2021,” she said.

But, the feeling was not the same when she entered the pool as Saisha — dressed in shorts and a bra, she said.

“Recently, I entered the pool … my first as Saisha! My body not in what is conventionally considered to be ‘in shape’ but it didn’t matter. I was so comfortable wearing just a bra and denim shorts! Everything on display! I didn’t feel one bit of insecurity or discomfort. On the contrary, I was more confident than Swapnil ever was!” she shared.

She also shared pictures from last year, including a pendant with her name inscribed on it, and the official government document of her name change.

“Today is the first year anniversary of my coming out publicly as a transgender woman and I want to thank everyone! But beyond everyone, I want to thank myself for being brave enough to live my truth even if it is at a later stage in my life! Thanks to my bravery and the undying (spirit) to lead a meaningful life. I finally get to breathe happily…and I’m enjoying each and every second of this freedom. A freedom that I’ve been privileged enough to have achieved. Happy birthday to me,” she commented.

Saisha who has worked with many celebrated actors in the industry — including Kiara Advani, Shraddha Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone, as well as the recently crowned Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu — came out in January 2021.

Saisha took to Instagram and wrote a long post, wherein she implied that she may be addressed as ‘Saisha’, which means “a meaningful life”.

“All through school and college, while the boys outside tormented me because I was different, the internal pain was far worse,” she wrote in the post. “I felt suffocated living in a reality that I knew wasn’t mine, yet one that I had to stage everyday because of societal expectations and norms. It was only in my early 20s at NIFT where I found the courage to accept my truth; I truly bloomed (sic).”

“I spent the next few years believing that I was attracted to men because I was gay, but it was only 6 years ago that I finally accepted to myself, and today that I accept to you. I’m not a gay man. I am a transwoman.”

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