a man a transgender a woman an activist a person who has fought for her own gender identity and is now fighting for the gender identity of many others this is the story of RK of tsongkhapa once a sex worker occupied mishali is a main to female transgender and a gender activist her life brings us face to face with gender discrimination in India and her work inspires us to be inclusive thanks to location partner infinity okay you have an absolutely amazing life story one that's very inspiring to me and I really want you to share it you know on camera for everyone to know tell me when did you first realize that or recognize that you had feelings of the other gender and how has your journey of self-discovery and identity been since I come from a complete middle-class working-class background at the age of five six I was started behaving feminine I wanted to wear girls dress girls frock to apply makeup yeah to walk like girl to speak like girl to wear this trouble as my hair you know I had to experience it yeah taking this love the necklace of the lake which we put yeah the antioxidant diet Olivia you like putting this my mother she was always curious I why you doing like this you born biologically male and you had to behave like a man and I was quite confused her again says wanna watch my mother is in that story is zero I have penis so hard to be a man then it was difficult situation for me to hide my identity from 8 to 16 years yeah even still if there is no one at home I was experiencing it marrying my mother sorry very my sisters for my sisters true digas etc so high was completely a women within the four walls as it was a question for me when this women in hide entities going back to the society you know when when this is going to come out of the open absolutely so in that way it was always struggle and I was facing but still my mother when I was 11 12 years she forced me to take to the doctors to monthly bodies to do this pooja sin she was feeling that her something devil in me you know in my body it is not true yeah I was convincing my parents saying that no I am the person bond like this but they are not at all compromising on that my father was when I when I used place girls new most of the time my father forcefully making me to play with boys to play cricket to plate this Gilad ondol game to play you know Kabaddi like usually the boys play gasps I was completely shocked then one day he brought from that space to house and he poured hot water my legs because I'm behaving feminine and I'm always being with girls my family said this is the norms of society that you need to follow if you not following these norms so then this is the punishment so then three months I was house house arrested so no school no exposure to outside society I was inside my house at the age of fifteen sixteen years I revealed it to my brother saying that yes I am NOT a boy and girl he was laughing so loud and you're mad he should take it in him hands to take it to doctors I said no please don't do that you know my sister were teasing my brother was teasing my mother was teasing my father was teasing the whole relatives were teasing area Sangha you know why your son is behaving like there is no teasing those code words Sangha on bottom which was hurting me a lot but the winds number nine yeah yeah number nine okay we which was hurting me a lot of time I did not want to go for any functions any marriages any funeral social gatherings no and I decided not to go but sometimes for my parents pressure I was going there even if I am there and I was not speaking to people very open he was people were teasing about my voice yeah then I was studying with ten standard hundred half-mad in hime failed in maths so then I jumped into the reception technical trading centre it was the course of three years called diploma course so I didn't I did it for six months why I discontinued this education because of this feminine character the classmates yeah the friends at the college premises were not able to accept me as a feminine person the four of my friends my close friends they took me to toilet and this actually harassed me the salmon was on my face semmen wasn't my whole body I'm taking that this issue to my principal as it's a this what then you know this is a situation for me please address it the principal scolds me because you're behaving feminine people are sexually arousing you first you be proper so then they'll be proper so then I decided to leave that College what you have to link this so I want to place before my father I can say that father paper sexually had asked me if I'm said the same bus will come my father and my mother see because if M&A you are behaving good so that's why the people our people are serving him like a man Jana that was a present continuously they was they were putting against me yes so height or my father daddy I am NOT interested to study I want to go for work my father was quite serious I'm okay he's left to you you decide what you want done so hai was working for Ram ceramics which was in st. Mark's or the same agenda is here the cooling senior greatly named way yeah the same way so finally huh if I decided not to do any kind of mainstreaming work so people are looking only in the context of sex so let me indulge in sex work one day I saw a few transgenders whenever I was starting to from my zero to Indra again I said few transgenders who were surrounding at corporation circle raised very close to goblin power lots of transgenders so then I got on the bus and I went and spoke the transgenders I was so happy after seeing them you know there was some there was tears in my eyes so then I asked in I want to become like you then the transgender said no we being charged in the cell facing so much of discrimination stigma in society and why you want to become like us no please study so please take care of your family but these for the supportive words which was provided by the transgenders then I said no the same situation in my family my family is not accepting me as feminine person my friends is not accepting this feminine person my college is not accepting as I am so I want to be with you finally they said no these are two options if you come into the community there is sex work and begging which one you want to choose as it is sex work yeah I didn't sex work for four years but it lighted my father saying that I am working for some company as an office assistant I saw this you did sex work in Bangalore in Bangla in Kabul pal for four years the money which I was earning in sex work that money was fulfilled to to my penance for four days attend me I want to understand this silently I don't want to prod I don't want to intrude but I want to understand this when you are biologically in me and you enter into sex work with feminine feelings how does that work where does you know how does sex operate and where does that leave you emotionally see this extra profession of the sexual minority community the acts which is very privacy but still I would like to reveal I don't mind to speak about sexual act and because I am the person taking session on sex gender sexuality to all the platforms and trying to do this society change trying to be a brave woman yeah see born biologically made feelings are feminine yeah when you indulging in your sexual act there are certainly a female role right feminine role yes yes like most of the transgenders the male to female transgender they play a kind of receptive role yeah the passive role yeah there are some transgenders who also take an active role yeah it could be both sexes sexuality is something that or sexual act is something not you know is that not only person who is penetrating and when the person who is getting treated it sad that yeah that's a whole sector something that people mutually understanding with consent Irene you are experiencing sex you are enjoying your sex in that Phoebe did it as people becoming to have all sex people becoming too high sex people are coming to have anal sex the other people are coming to have body massage performing that sexual act behind the trees behind the bushes in inside the bushes this for the death at the sexual act took place is a very insane lots of snakes frogs okay animals are one thing just the fact that you're out in the open exposing your body like that and you know obviously not every time would you have used protection was exposure to all kinds of infections sure I was not aware about HIV what is safer sex practice and how to use condom on how to have practice safer sex no at the same to be were we were tortured we were harassed we were violated by the ponies personals the gündüz the local goon das bullets were coming to her try sex with us without paying money free sex and no safer sex practice there yeah and the local cuts now the goon das were coming to us they're wanting free sex they're paying any money apart from that whatever the marine that you earned that money needs to be given to polish and gunas we were people constantly facing discrimination because of because of identity because of our sexuality because of our profession yeah this made us to use his profession so I decided to a hunt to hugging go back to the mainstream then I was seeking job I was seeking an employment opportunity so in the meantime we had a you know a few people from sangoma they came they were coming to park and they were started educating me about my rights so supporting and motivating me to be on the platform and sangoma you know it's an organization that works to empower lesbians gays transgenders and bisexuals and sex workers and thanks we are so then I was so curious are you we are like this this some organization is working for people like us I should prefer to go and see once I went to sangamam there are lot there are hundreds of people like me hundreds of people when I saw them I was so emotion oh you you this is my space not my home when people were happily there you belong absolutely when people started accepting me when people are welcoming me I was so happy about that the same Welcome was not in my house the same welcome was not in my family you know in my relatives house I you know from my siblings so then I said that the demon I enter sang gamma I asked Kumari saying that I want to work inside the mouth she said yes definitely we'll give some space for to work and the determination came to my mind is being a person in at least I should do whatever whatever I can do for this community let me change the society from now so when you met this community you found a purpose if on both acceptance and the purpose sure I am seeing the family in 2004 the family which was rejected me not to work not to go for operation not to be a sari the same family is now supporting me the fame fame same family supported to go for operation yeah I heard your castration castration in 2012 after birth fifth and high did my sexy azzaman surgery I was the first person to go for to follow the process of sex reassignment surgery in Karnataka my family supports me to speak in media for the benefits of the whole oppressed communities I am also having a relationship with yes you had a long-term relationship is yeah tell me about sin about this man in your life and so happy to speak about James of desert is funny yes I am in relationship between Gopal when at the age of 13 years he came and proposed to me that I want to be in love and he was 19 years old and it was so curious Sal said it I have I had your heart boy and how can we be in love is it so what if your boy still you're a girl for me that's okay right so let me experience it I'm so happy to have you sure you what to have that one person one conditionally accepts you and loves you and has done so for so many years that's very very important that gives you I think a kind of stability that not against them by I'm strengthened tell me about your work at Sangam ah you know you've gone through the entire transition of being the victim being the rejected to now fighting for the rights of others who are the same you know who facing the same plight continued to when you know society hasn't dramatically changed in the last 10 years we still have to see a lot of change tell me about the kind of work that you do now a part of the talks that you came tell me about your work your achievements and what you take pride in you know because based on what you do it's an the amount of English and speaking to you and before this camera is learn from Sangam ah yeah the person did not able to read and write did not able to address people how to speak and what to speak and with whom you are speaking I was never learnt before joining cinema after joining Sangam ah I learned many things I am interacting with the last sections of the society taking up an issue of gender sexuality and sex work yeah as I said I joined to Sangamon 2004 as part and staff then I work the next six months had become full-time staff and sangoma had given me many many responsibilities to deal with that and I'm completely successfully taking it forward so the four years before my work was taking care of information like grabbing the information or putting it together and taking the committee members and educate them you know I am doing some sort of awareness that's one part but the last four years the responsibility is that to work with the judiciary we are taking up the transgender issues female to male male to female transgender issues and sex workers issues so that is some way it's a huge responsibility and if you're going to speak to judge it is not so friendly to speak to them they're having so much of norms rules regulations that you need to follow yeah so it is challenging for me to how to address this and how to place this issue before the judges or with media in our media all the politically it is political you know English means yes I was invited by the President of India for the swearing-in ceremony of our supreme court chief justice she liked the mosque abhi I was so happy never happened when when when I had been to rashtrapati bhavan I met President I met Sonia Gandhi I met Manmohan Singh ji I met many other many many many repulsive leaders and judges etc but that is the space where you you were not discriminated yeah that's a space people one equally recognized your direction is needs society ya know the amount of watts which flowed by the political leaders yes people like you should come to da choppah theme on I am so happy the Karnataka High Court has decoded a new yes because first transgender to work in to work in a high court in India yes I think what's absolutely amazing is that given your journey and your experience and what you went through in terms of your own struggle to find acceptance for your own identity it's amazing that you've come the full circle and you are now working for inclusion and acceptance and empowerment of people who have similar problems like you do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life yes yes yes let me dedicate my life to work with the marginalized communities it is not only restricted to sexual and gender minorities not sex workers there are other sections what disabled who are women who are poor people but then it's yeah get to focus on those communities the last 10 years no Delhi booze was speaking about sexuality issue but the same group now they are speaking sexuality issue which is a huge program taking place but my main scariness is that who will take the next responsive this is it a crime or something else or someone else so how many days Villa will acai be here as forefront of the community yes I expect many people like me should come open yes yeah this take of this responsibility yeah absolutely so definitely I should not you know so you need to I guess groom a generation that's going to take off from you continue the work and see it succeed seed bear fruit can see the change happen over the next agility decade or two or more however long it takes so I wish you all the best and lassie I'm I'm very touched I'm very impressed with your strength determination perseverance and I wish you a ton of happiness thank you for being patient thank you so much my big in media my I should thank you thank you join our mailing list at child Lakshmi dot in forward slash subscribe and keep in touch with us on Facebook Twitter Google+ and Pinterest

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. its
    all about respect,even if u don't accept …any situation. as long as u respect it,u can understand where they come from…

  2. As a human being, we should respect everyone and treat equally. You are inspiration to ur community and for all others too. Wish you all the best and we support you.

  3. Akkai is a very beautiful person both from inside and outside. Her true story is a sheer act of determination and inspiration. I hope many more people who go through the same plight become the torchbearers of a massive change that our society needs today. Thank you Lakshmi for this eye-opening interview!

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