Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is a transgender rights activist, Hindi film actor and Bharatanatyam dancer in Mumbai, India. She was born in 1979 in Thane. Laxmi is a hijra. She is the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN in 2008. Laxmi was the eldest born who was assigned male at birth, into an orthodox Brahmin family in Thane Maharashtra. After completing her schooling from Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane, she acquired an arts degree from Mumbai’s Mithibai College and a postgraduate degree in Bharatnatyam. Often being told she was gay and being called “homo”, in about grade 5 Laxmi sought out the only gay person she knew Ashok Row Kavi. She starred in several Ken Ghosh dance videos and went on to become a choreographer herself.
In a video for Project Bolo she recalls meeting the first PhD hijra student in India, Shabira. She met the hijra community through Shabira and soon after became a bar dancer. She was fairly famous having admirers come from across the city to watch her dance. However this was short lived as Maharashtra home minister RR Patil decided to shut down the city’s dance bars. Laxmi organized protests against this move. The dancers lost but Laxmi got her first taste for activism.