Beating gender discrimination

 

Transgender woman scoops Miss Spring Runner-up position

’MAKERESEMESE LETUKA

MASERU – A transgender woman has finally scooped the Miss Spring 1st Runner-up. Relebohile Motaung, 26, from Motimposo started modelling and pageantry in 2015 when she competed in the second edition of Miss Gay.

“The journey up to now has been difficult for me as I had to come out into the public space where I was faced with a lot of questions about one’s life, insults and much hate. I have managed to keep my head high through my mother’s support during the entire time,” says Relebohile.

“It difficult to come out as a transgender woman in his country because people start questioning you and start telling you about God and the Bible. “I think it is not right bring up God into my sexual identity and expression because I am the one who knows myself and how I feel,” she continues.

She adds that she had always kept her cool, choosing not to reply to any of the negative comments or hate speeches she encounters. Instead, these help her be more of herself, giving her more confidence.

“I mean, people always speak negatively, but since my friends and family support me through everything and I know they love me, that alone is what I need,” Relebohile told Life&Style.

Miss Gay was the only beauty pageant accommodating LGBTIQ+ people, and Relebohile competed in 2015, though she did not win. In 2016 she competed for the same pageant again and was this time crowned 2nd Princess. In 2017 she was crowned 1st Princess.

This time around she competed in Miss Spring which accommodated her as a transgender woman. “I had too much negativity from people and even got bullied on cyber space, but I love the results; I won and now everyone is happy with me, which makes me even more excited. I silenced a lot of people,” she proudly says.

Her message to every transgender woman is to do what they want to do and believe they are capable of. “Do not mind people, but listen very carefully to what they say; it is not all negative. Believe in yourself and love yourself first in everything.

“I am looking forward to competing in other pageants in our country, while also focusing on becoming an international model because of the people I look up to, people who inspire me. Locally I look up to Maleshoane Nkeka. She is all about empowering women. Internationally it is Naomi Campbell; she is beautiful and I love mostly her runway walks, she is just amazing,” she says.

 

 

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