'Lock Upp': Saisha Shinde talks facing abuse, backlash upon sharing
On Sunday, Lock Upp hosted the Judgement Day episode, where contestants shared some dark secrets to avoid elimination. And, popular stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui had pressed the buzzer first and revealed getting sexually assaulted as a child. Host Kangana Ranaut told of her unfortunate experience as well. Listening to them, Faruqui's co-contestant Saisha Shinde opened up about her ordeal, too. Trigger warning: Sexual assault.
"This was my first secret. After listening to you both sharing all these, and Munawar talking about how people reacted when he shared it with them, I was reminded (of my own experience)," an emotional Shinde said. "The few people whom I told about it, told me, 'This is why you are so much into sex, this is why you are gay,'" she added.
Naturally, after facing such a harsh reaction, Shinde could never gather the courage to open up about her trauma. Earlier, to save herself from getting evicted, the celebrity designer had shared that until she became Saisha Shinde from Swapnil, she faced massive emotional and mental harassment. Shinde had also highlighted how transgender women are forced to strip in public to prove their gender.
"We've to stop this injustice and have to work together to bring about the change. That change can only come when privileged people like me come out and talk about it openly without any fear," Shinde emphasized. She also promised to donate "50% of what I earn from this show to NGOs working for the trans community and the charitable trusts run by me."
Shinde has designed for top Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Bhumi Pednekar, and Hina Khan, among others. She is India's "ONLY trans woman from mainstream pop culture to COME OUT," as she puts it, and is one of the few whose work was exhibited at the Lakme Fashion Week for 13 successive seasons.
"By god's grace I haven't had to face any bias/judgment (as a designer). On the contrary, everyone has been welcoming...people have been commending my courage but I truly feel the real heroes are my parents. They have been my trailblazers," she told a portal recently.