New Delhi: Activist and celebrity transgender Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi was lucky to have found acceptance from her parents and yet feels the Supreme Court's landmark judgment recognising a 'third gender' restored her dignity - and safeguarded that of future generations of the so-called hijra or eunuch community in India.
'It is a wonderful judgment and has brought back my dignity and safeguarded dignity of the future generations of the transgender community,' Tripathi, an activist of international repute who works for the community through her campaign group Astitva,. told IANS.
'But what matters is accepting your own children and not leaving them abandoned. Many parents feel the shame and struggle to accept their own children. This mindset has to go,' she added.
Tripathi, who has participated in reality shows like "Bigg Boss" and "Sach Ka Saamna", recently celebrated the apex court judgment - that also mandated job reservations for the community that has a recorded history in the subcontinent from ancient times - along with other transgenders or transsexuals at the Jantar Mantar. She is also the first transgender to represent Asia-Pacific at the UN in 2008.
The 35-year-old described the April 15 judgment as "wonderful", but pointed out that there is still a long way to go despite the fact that the apex court has ordered the government to provide quotas in jobs and education to transgenders, like other minority groups.