Dr Beoncy Laishram maneuvers among the throng of white-coated medics near Imphal’s Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), hurrying for her patients.
But Laishram, 28, is not just another doctor running for a surgery or check up. As Northeast’s first transwoman doctor, she has carved a path from the streets to the hospital and her example is inspiring other transgender people in the region.
“After looking back to my journey, I feel proud of myself that I have gone through those hardships and become the person whom everyone calls as Beoncy” Laishram told TIME8.
Life has been hard on the part of transgender people. They have always been treated as outcasts; many of them become victims of sexual assault and resort to working wedding dancers or begging to make a living.
Beoncy was born a boy, but she got to know about her identity when she was in 8th standard. “Initially I tried to hide my real identity because I was too young to decide the right way”, Beoncy recalls.
“After I got through MBBS at RIMS in 2011, then I decided to come out to my family in 2013. My father got so upset that he tried to kill himself”, She said adding “I went right back into the closet. Around 2016, I realized I could no longer live that life. It was then I began openly identifying as a Nupi Maanbi (a Trans community of Manipur).”
Before revealing her identity, Laishram went by the name of Boboi Laishram, and officially changed her name to Beoncy in 2013 after participating in a high profile beauty pageant ‘Miss Trans Queen Northeast.’
She identifies herself as a post-operative transwoman after undergoing sex reassignment surgery in Puducherry. Presently, she is also working towards helping the disadvantaged Nupi Maanbis get access to healthcare.
When asked on family acceptance, Beoncy said, “Initially they didn’t support me, but after I passed my MBBS entrance and started to help my family financially and mentally, they came to realize that I am not a lost person and accepted me.”
Laishram repaired ties with her parents and is currently on good terms with them.
“My journey has been filled with lots of ups and down, downs mostly at the initial stage. And it is in that journey I realized that it is too hard on a male or female to go though such hurdles. Now I am out of the cage that I once lived inside like a bird”, said Beoncy.
Currently, the 28-year-old doctor is fighting as a COVID-19 warrior in Imphal, Manipur.