Meet 5 Indian Transgender Icons Thriving After Challenging Societal Norms

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New Delhi (Sputnik): As the upper house of the Indian parliament debates the rights and welfare of transgenders, a widely-oppressed community in the nation, there are some transgender people who have made their mark in various fields.

Meet five distinguished career members of India's transgender community, who have thrived in the face of discrimination and intimidation.

1. Padmini Prakash

She became India’s first transgender news anchor in Indian television in 2014, after facing consistent discrimination all her life, even to the extent of being disowned by her family. She nonetheless fought back and grabbed the attention of international media houses, becoming so popular that she was promoted to anchor special bulletins for the Coimbatore-based Lotus News Channel.

​2. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

The accomplished transgender rights activist became the first person to represent the Asia Pacific region at the UN in 2008. She also represented her unique community on international platforms such as Toronto’s World AIDS conference.

To add another feather to her cap, she also authored an autobiography: 'Me Hijra, Me Laxmi'.

​3. Dr. Manabi Bandopadhyay

After undergoing gender realignment surgery in 2003, Bandopadhyay became the first Indian transgender to acquire a Doctorate (PhD) in Bengali literature. She was also appointed as the first transgender college principle of a women’s college in West Bengal.

​4. K Prithika Yashini

The first transgender police officer of India, Yashini fought a relentless legal battle to allow her to be identified as “transgender” on her job application form. Yashini is now a sub-inspector in Chennai city in the country’s southern state of Tamil Nadu.

​5. Nitasha Biswas

in 2017, Biswas became the first transgender beauty queen winner. After undergoing rigorous hormone transplant therapy, she took the bold step of choosing modelling as a career, despite family and relatives abandoning her.

​In 2014, the Supreme Court of India gave the historic judgment of recognising transgender people as a legal third gender. The landmark judgment to ensure equal treatment of transgender citizens has been lauded across the nation and around the world

The legislation to protect the rights and welfare of transgender people is a proposed Act of the Parliament of India. The parliament’s lower house passed the bill on 5 August and it is now being debated in the upper house.

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