Designer Saisha Shinde, formerly known as Swapnil Shinde, comes out as trans woman – Eagles Vine

Fashion designer Swapnil Shinde, who is known for styling many Bollywood actors like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Anushka Sharma and for costume designing in films like ‘Fashion’, came out as a transwoman on social media and revealed a new identity as Saisha Shinde. “Saisha means a meaningful life and I plan to make mine an exceptionally meaningful one,” she wrote as a caption with her Instagram post.

In the Instagram post, Saisha shared, “Irrespective of your origin, there will always be something that reminds you of your childhood. For me, it takes me back to the kind of loneliness that aches, to pressures that pushed me into solitude and the chaos of confusion that grew every moment. All through school and college, while the boys outside tormented me because I was different, the internal pain was far worse. I felt suffocated living 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. 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 am not a gay man. I am a Transwoman.” She also shared her picture in another Instagram post.

Saisha Shinde

The designer says that the love and support that she has received from her friends and family have been overwhelming. “I am both shocked and surprised. I thought that there would be a lot of trolling on social media when I come out, but there has not been even a single negative comment so far. I have received so many positive messages from not just LGBTQI+ people, but a number of women are writing to me saying how this news gives them courage and inspiration to live their lives without fear, without anyone telling them how they should be living their lives,” says Saisha, adding that her family, especially her father, has been an important part of her journey. “As I wrote in my social media post, I accepted and embraced my identity six years ago. Since then my family – a conservative Maharashtrian family – has been with me and behind me in every decision that I took. My father supported me immensely and made sure that I went to the best surgeons. He kept telling me that he is with me and that was amazing,” adds Saisha.

More than the process of transition, which Saisha says has been “truly liberating”, the challenge for her was to go public about her new identity. “I consulted a lot of industry friends and most of them suggested that I keep that part of my life hidden, given that talking about sexuality is such a stigma. So I was battling within myself if I should make my identity public. That was the difficult part. It was during the lockdown – a time when, like most people staying alone and facing their fears – this question came to me and I decided that I should come out to inspire many others who might not even have the privileges that I have. Once I decided that, I was no longer anxious,” says Saisha, adding that the process of transition has been a beautiful one for her. “Everything = from wearing the makeup to skirts, tops and dresses – has been liberating for me. I have been receiving a lot of respect and love from people. I know it is extremely early, but I have always believed in living the truth and facing its consequences. Also, I am a firm believer of the fact that if you give love, you only receive love,” she says.

A lot of love poured in from Saisha’s friends on her post. Among those who commented was Parineeti Chopra, who wrote, “So happy to read this. Up and up from here, Saisha.”

The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

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