First Indian transgender newsreader
First Indian transgender newsreader.
For the first time ever in India, on the Lotus News Channel in August, a transgender person, Padmini Prakash, read the news.
When Padmini was young, her life was like other transgender people. When she was 13, her parents wanted nothing more to do with her. But today she is an important person. People respect her and follow her ideas. Transgender and LGBT people are very proud of her.
There are more than two million trans people, or ‘kinnars’, in India. Most live outside normal society and are very poor. To get a little money, many sing and dance door-to-door, ask for money on the streets or become prostitutes. But recently, the Supreme Court in India accepted them as the third gender. This means they will be able to have education and jobs.
Before she got her job on the Tamil TV network, Prakash worked in many areas. She was a transgender rights activist, dance teacher, actor in a soap opera, and she entered beauty competitions. At the TV channel she became the main newsreader after a month. This shows how much progress that this group can make if they have the right support and opportunities.
Now Padmini is working as a newsreader, her community has more hope. Uttam Senapati, a trans leader, is very happy. ‘Her achievement is really good news for us kinnars,’ she says. ‘It will people understand that we are not “bad” people who only annoy others. Young trans people think Padmini is a star and, maybe soon, others will follow her.’
Vidya Kamle, a young trans activist, thinks that everyone needs to feel responsible for continuing Padmini’s success. ‘Now the LGBT community can see that if you are educated, you get a lot of opportunities. So people will respect and accept us. Now is the right time for this change. The Supreme Court has given us the right to get good education from the best universities in the country and we have to use it.’
Krishna/Women’s Feature Service
NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/sections/agenda/2014/12/01/tvs-transgender-trendsetter/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).