Amid COVID-19, Manipur’s Beoncy Laishram emerge as a ray of hope

Over the years Manipur has seen many ‘firsts’ – starting from boxing to football. The state never ceases to bring pleasant surprises with their extremely talented and hard-working people.

Here is another ‘first’ in her category. Meet Beoncy Laishram, the first transgender doctor from not just Manipur, but in the entire region.

A COVID-19 warrior, Beoncy, is now a symbol of hope after her prolonged struggle with her identity.

A former student of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Imphal is now participating in the fight against COVID-19 to make other’s life better.

“I was born a boy, but by the time I was in Class IX or X, I did not identify as male. I got through MBBS at RIMS in 2011, and decided to come out to my family in 2013. My father was so upset he tried to kill himself,” the 27-year-old medical officer at a private hospital in Imphal was quoted as saying by a report in Times of India.

She continued, “I went right back into the closet. Around 2016, I realised I could no longer live that life. It was then that I began openly identifying as a Nupi Maanbi (Transwoman)”.

She officially changed her name to Beoncy in 2013, when she participated in the high-profile beauty pageant Miss Trans Queen Northeast.

The condition of the transgender community in Manipur is slightly better if compared with the other parts of the country. Most of the members of the community are economically independent though the social taboo is still there.

However, successful people like Beoncy is well off. But like all the others, she too had her share of struggle.

“I look like a woman now, so no one realises I am a transperson until they hear my voice. Some people are startled, but that’s it,” said Beoncy, who identifies as a post-operative transwoman after undergoing sex reassignment surgery in Puducherry.

Now, she also helps more disadvantaged Nupi Maanbis get access to healthcare. Now, amid the COVID-19 crisis, characters like Beoncy has become a ray of hope, not just for the transgender community but for the society as such.

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