Bharaa / India
“I am Bharaa, Brand Acquisition Manager at SPI Cinemas. I also hold a Gold Medal in Engineering and have a tenacious passion for the art of Bharatanatyam. However, none of this came easy.
Social stigma made my life difficult since my childhood and the school years. My family always suspected why I dressed up and walked a certain way, why I did not play with boys. When they were going to lengths to track my activities every day, my fellow classmates were busy bullying me. My only relief was in taking part in female roles in various school plays. That was the only time I felt at peace with myself.
As years went by, I realized that if I were to take control of my life back, I had to ‘come out’ and face the challenges. On Graduation Day, I dressed up in the way I had wanted to all my life – as a woman. Clad in a saree, I went on to become the first transwoman in my University to be conferred a gold medal.
But I wasn’t happy despite being a gold medalist. I looked around me and everyone was joyful – but I, I had no one with me. I saw parents clicking pictures with their kids, I saw smiles and laughters everywhere except in my own life. I lost something very valuable that day because I chose to live my truth – I lost my family. Soon after, I left home.
I met PeriFerry soon afterwards and did an internship there. Through their reference, I started my tenure as a Customer Support Exec. at the SPI Cinemas. The support and inspiration that I received there has been something to truly cherish. I have evolved through multiple promotions to be where I am now.
I still remember, two months before I got my job, I was skipping meals and surviving on biscuits to make my ends meet. From being a kid who was pampered with great food and a happy home, life brought me to no meals and sleeping on a plywood. I heartily thank Ratheesh and the whole SPI Edge Team for instilling inspiration and aspiration.
Looking to you my dear young community members, I just want you to promise me that you will not give up, ever! Reach out, trust your talent, be open to learning, show your confidence – and you too will find places where you truly belong. Remember, talent has no gender!”