An Indian Transgender Asks an Uncomfortable Question
Mumbai |January 2017
You are not a woman, you are a criminal. These things were said to Akkai Padmashali just because she is a transgender that too living in Indian society. But she is not a criminal anymore.
In this Josh Talk ‘An Indian Transgender asks an uncomfortable question’, Akkai Padmashali asks why sexual activity ‘against the order of nature’ is a crime in 21st century India. She goes on to share a song about her ordeal of fighting not only for her gender but also for livelihood and points to the extreme difficulties that the LGBTQ community faces in India. At a broader level, she questions the morality of a majority sitting in judgment upon the preferences of minority communities. LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. She mentions that not only her but other bi, trans, queer, gay, and lesbians face the stigma.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a section of the Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533, it used to criminalise sexual activities “against the order of nature”. On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India decided that the application of Section 377 to consensual homosexual sex between adults was unconstitutional, “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”
Akkai Padmashali is one of the Petitioners Who Battled for the Success to Strike down Section 377.
Dr Akkai Padmashali is a female transgender, social activist whose journey is one of courage and determination. Akkai Padmashali is a motivational speaker, transgender rights activist, and a classically trained singer who is actively involved in making a gender-just society.
Transgender activist Akkai Padmashali came down heavily on the central government for its neutral stand on the constitutional validity of Section 377 (unnatural offences). Transgender Rights activist and the first transwoman in the State to register her marriage, Akkai Padmashali, has been at the forefront of campaign against Section 377. She was one of the petitioners before the Supreme Court, which gave a landmark judgment on Thursday.
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