A famous Transgender Rights Activist and well known Bharatnatyam Dancer Laxmi Narayan Tripathy has always been a motivation for others. Her life was a struggle for herself because from society’s perspective she was not normal. Laxmi started dancing at the age of seven not only that she participated in Big Boss (Season 5) and also starred in Sach Ka Samna with Rajiv Khandelwal, Dus Ka Dum with Salman Khan and she has also starred in an award winning documentary in 2005 Between the lines India’s third gender.
Recently, ‘Me Hijra Me laxmi’ the new English translation of her autobiography launched at the New Delhi World book fair. There she said “I hope the government will devise a budget keeping in mind the third gender category or it might as well have someone represent us in the session.”
Laxmi has served on the boards of several NGOs which conduct LGBT activist work. In 2002 she became president of the NGO DAI Welfare Society, the first registered and working organization for eunuchs in South Asia. In 2007 she started her own organization, Astitiva. This organization works to promote the welfare of sexual minorities, their support and development.
This Astitva founder was the first transgender person to represnt Asia Pacific in the UN in 2008. She was an Indian TG woman on the Asia Pacific Sex Workers Network and talked about the sex workers’ issues, TGs, MSM, sexual minority, because it was the first time
in the UN Civil Society Task Force that there was a TG woman. It was the proud moment for her that being a hijra, she could make it till here, which she never ever thought in her life.
About the recent judgment from the apex court she expressed her views as, “We welcome the recent judgment from the Supreme Court of India granting our rights and needs, thus ensuring the dignity and identity of all individuals, particularly people like us on the periphery.
The recent landmark decision by the Supreme Court recognizing a third gender is something positive that is helping to protect the identity and rights of future generations of hijras in India. I personally never thought this judgment would ever be made in my lifetime, but we were fighting for it. It’s wonderful that the court has ordered the government to provide quotas in jobs and education to transgender people, like other minority groups. However, there is still a long way to go. It will take a lot of effort on our part to make hijras mainstream in today’s society. One way is to make sure we have education on transgender issues as part of our education system. A lot of advocacy needs to be done.”