Tenzin Mariko, a former monk has become Tibet’s first trans model. According to Times Of India, the former monk was born in a traditional Tibetan family with five brothers. Her family migrated to Bir, Himachal in the 1990s.
Mariko was only nine when she was sent to the monastery, which is a common practice in their community. In an interview with TOI, she recalls liking feminine things as a kid. Her life took a turn when a video of Mariko dancing at her friend’s wedding, wearing wig and make-up surfaced in her community. She was bombarded with derogatory remarks and hateful comments.
At first, she chose to deny that it was her in the video. Eventually, when she came to terms with her gender identity, she opted for surgery. She replaced her robes for skirts, and if pictures on Instagram are any proof, she is absolutely killing it.
Although, her family wasn’t on board with her transition, they came eventually accepted her. Mariko made her first public image as Tenzin Mariko in 2015, participating in Miss Tibet. And since then, the former monk has performed at several shows in Delhi, Dehradun and Karnataka.
Mariko has an active social media presence, with 21k followers on Instagram. She describes herself as a make-up artist and dancer.
(Image Credits: Tenzin Mariko’s Instagram)