Laxmi Narayan Tripathi – StarsUnfolded

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

Bio/Wiki
Other Name(s) Lakshmi, Laxminarayan Tripathi, Laxmi Tripatti [1]IMDb
Nickname Raju [2]The Criterion
Profession Human Rights Activist, Dancer, Writer
Famous For Being the Chief/Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of Kinnar Akhara, a religious organization for transgender people promoting Hinduism and LGBTQ+ community in India
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.) in centimeters– 178 cm
in meters– 1.78 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 10”
Eye Colour Black
Hair Colour Black
Career
Debut As an Actor
Film (Bollywood): Queens! Destiny Of Dance (2011) as ‘Lajo.’
Queens! Destiny Of Dance (2011)
TV (Canadian-French): Le sexe autour du monde (2011) in the segment ‘Inde’
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Le sexe autour du monde (2011)
As a Writer: Me Hijra, Me Laxmi (2015)
Me Hijra, Me Laxmi (2015)
Personal Life
Date of Birth 13 December 1978 (Thursday)
Age (as of 2020) 42 Years
Birthplace Dr Malatibai Chitnis Hospital, Thane, Maharashtra
Zodiac sign Sagittarius
Nationality Indian
Hometown Thane, Maharashtra
School Bims Paradise English High School in Kopri, Thane
College/University Mithibai College, Mumbai
Educational Qualification • Bachelor of Arts
• Post Graduation in Bharatnatyam [3]DNA India
Religion Hinduism [4]Voice of Margin
Caste Brahmin [5]DNA India
Tattoo(s) • Tattoo of her face on her right hand
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Tattoo
• Tattoo on her left hand
Controversies • In November 2018, Laxmi was criticised for her support towards the building of Ram Temple at the site of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya by Indian trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals and groups, who stated,
“Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a dominant-caste brahmin trans woman, has been appealing to Hindutva ideology and justifying the existence of the caste system in India ever since she began aspiring for a political position within the current ruling party. Her position negates the politics of communal harmony that is espoused by Hijras and Kinnars, who have historically maintained a syncretic faith of belonging to both Hinduism and Islam. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi’s position idealises a mythical past of the Sanatan Dharam and supports the right-wing politics of communal hatred in the guise of ‘we were always accepted.” [6]The News Minute

• In 2019, after Laxmi gave a public talk, organized by Democratic Secular Students’ Forum (DSSF), The TISS Queer Collective (a student club at TISS, Mumbai) issued a statement, expressing their discontent towards Laxmi of asking full names of the students to know their caste and geographical location. Queer Collective also alleged that her statements like ‘we will build the temple wherever Ram was born’ made the queer students on campus feel ‘unsafe and threatened.’[7]EDEX Live The Collective had stated,
“The speaker did injustice to the aim of the talk by not discussing aspects of identity, inclusion and employment of individuals from queer communities within the wider politics of the state. We believe that such statements act as a thin veil through which a threatening and casteist ideology of Hindutva lays bare. The same ideas ring through her insistence on referring to the scriptures of Hinduism, which according to her are progressive and inclusive, and the adoption of completely subjective narratives of religion, scriptures, law, and science. Gender and sexuality do not work independently; they are embedded in the structures of language, religion, caste, class, geography and indigeneity. We empathize with Laxmi for the hardships she has faced because of her gender identity. At the same time we criticize her for using the same to deny the existence of casteism.”

Relationships & More
Sexual Orientation Transgender
Marital Status Married
Affairs/Boyfriends • Vickey Thomas
• Aryan Pasha (since 2018; Trans man Bodybuilder)
Family
Husband/Spouse • Vicky Thomas (Divorced)
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi with Vicky Thomas
• Aryan Pasha (m.2019)
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi with Aryan Pasha
Children She has adopted two children.
Parents Father– Name not known (Died)
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi's Father
Mother– Vidyawati Tiwari
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi with her Mother
Siblings Brother– Shashinarayan
Sister– Rukmini

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

Some Lesser Known Facts About Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

  • Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is an Indian transgender rights activist, dancer, and writer who is known for being the Acharya Mahamandaleshwar or Chief of Kinnar Akhara, a religious organization working on the promotions of ideas of Hinduism and LGBTQ+ community in India.
  • Laxmi Narayan Saraswati is also considered a demigod.
  • Laxmi belongs to the orthodox Brahmin family hailing from Uttar Pradesh. She was born the eldest of the three children of his parents and was assigned a male at her birth.
  • According to her, she was named ‘Laxmi’ even before she was born by her grandfather, a pandit, who had also predicted that her mother would bear seven children, out of which, only three would survive.
  • Since her childhood, she liked to dance and used to dance to Bollywood numbers. She also used to give performances on dance in her school and college functions.
  • She was a very sick child, suffering from asthma (a problem she still has) and was very feminine, which became a problem for her as her peers used to laugh at her and called her by the derogatory terms such as ‘Chhakka’ and ‘Gur,’ while her relatives, especially a distant cousin used to sexually abuse her with his friends.
  • In Class 5, when she was overwhelmed with people calling her gay and homo, she contacted the only publicly gay person she knew – Ashok Row Kavi, who told her that she was fine and nothing was wrong with her, and she should continue to live her life and focus on her education, both academics and dance.
  • When she was in class 6, she did her Arangetram in Bharatnatyam, and by class seven, she had started her own dance academy and began working as a model coordinator.
  • In 1998, when she was a model coordinator, she chose to become a Hijra after she met the Hijra community through Shabina, a trans woman who was the brother of a model she worked with. Talking about it, she said,

    I went to Byculla where the head of Shabina’s Lashkar Gharana, Lata Naik, held court. Nervous and unsure, I finally gathered the courage to ask those assembled there, “I want to become a chela. How much is the fee?” To my surprise, they all burst out laughing. Lata guru, who went on to become my guru, said, “There is no fee, child. If you want to become my chela, come.” My initiation ceremony, the reet, followed soon after – I was given two green saris, which are known as Jogjanam saris signifying the inculcation into a new way of life, and crowned with the community dupatta.”

  • In Hijra (eunuchs, intersexual, or transgender people) community, the ritual of Guru (mentor) and Chelas (disciple) is followed in which a Guru trains Chelas and is like parents to them. Her Guru’s name is Lata.
  • Before coming back to the path of Hinduism (in 2014), she followed Sufism (a form of Islamic mysticism) and once every year, she used to make a visit to Saint Haji Malang’s shrine (Malanggad) near Kalyan during the annual urus. [8]DNA India
  • After completing her dance training in Bharatnatyam, she auditioned for the role of a dancer in Ken Ghosh’s (Indian film director and screenwriter) music videos and cracked it. She then appeared in several Ken Ghosh dance videos and became a choreographer herself later.
  • She has also worked at a bar as a dancer and was very famous as she had many admirers who came from across the city to watch her dance. However, the fame was momentary as the then Home Minister of Maharashtra R. R. Patil decided to shut down city’s dance bars. Laxmi protested a lot against the move but lost in the end.
  • Her journey as a transgender activist started because of a transgender friend who lost her life because of improper medical treatment given to her (as a transgender). She pledged to make lives of transgender people better in India and began working for NGOs working for LGBT rights. In 2002, she became the president of the first registered and working NGO for eunuchs in South Asia ‘DAI’M Welfare Society.’
    Logo of DAI'M Welfare Society

    Logo of DAI’M Welfare Society

  • In 2007, she founded her own non-profit organization ‘Astitiva Trust’ to support and promote welfare and development of sexual minorities.
    Logo of Astitva

    Logo of Astitva

  • In 2014, she was one of the petitioners who pleaded for the recognition of the third gender in India. The case came in the favour of transgenders as the Supreme Court of India declared transgenders India’s ‘third gender’ and affirmed them with equal fundamental rights as any other gender. SC also ordered the government to provide transgenders with jobs and education quotas, third washrooms, and health departments. They were also granted the right to adopt children and after reassignment surgery identification with their gender of choice.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Thanking Supreme Court for Passing the Judgement in Recognition of India's Third Gender

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Thanking Supreme Court for Passing the Judgement in Recognition of India’s Third Gender

  • In 2019, when Ashok Row Kavi began his appeal against section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized homosexuality, she also supported him.
  • Laxmi has appeared as a guest in many popular Indian reality shows including ‘Sach Ka Samna’ with Rajeev Khandelwal,’ ’10 Ka Dum’ with Salman Khan and ‘Raaz Pichle Janam Ka.’ In Sach Ka Samna, she became the first transgender person in India to come on TV with her parents.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Sach Ka Samna

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Sach Ka Samna

  • In 2005, she was featured in the award-winning documentary ‘Between the Lines: India’s Third Gender.’
    Between the Lines: India's Third Gender (2005)
  • In 2011, she contested the television reality show Bigg Boss: Season 5 and was evicted after six weeks.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Bigg Boss

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Bigg Boss

  • In 2011, she was featured in another documentary series about LGBT in India called ‘Project Bolo,’ which was released in DVD format. In Project Bolo, she told that she had breast augmentation done but did not go through any hormone therapy.
    Project Bolo (2011)
  • In 2016, she wrote her second book along with the writer Pooja Pande titled ‘Red Lipstick: The Men in My Life.’
    Red Lipstick: The Men in My Life
  • According to her, Laxmi’s parents came to know about her indulgence with the Hijra community when they saw her fully decked up in women’s attire in a television show. It came as a shock to them as they had started to look at marriage proposals for him. In an interview with the BBC, her father was asked about his thoughts on his child’s sexuality, and he responded,

    if my child was handicapped would you even ask me whether I’d have asked him to leave home? And just because his sexual orientation is different?”

  • In 2008, she became one of the first transgender people to represent the Asia-Pacific in the UN President’s Office Civil Society Task Force on HIV/AIDS.
  • In 2017, she was awarded the title of ‘Indian of the Year.’
  • Laxmi is also a member of the Bill Gates Foundation and a visiting faculty member at the School of Dance and Theatre at Amsterdam.
  • She has also modelled and has walked the ramp for Lakme Fashion Week 2016, India Runway Week 2016, and Bombay Times Fashion Week 2019.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Walking the Ramp at Lakme Fashion Week

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Walking the Ramp at Lakme Fashion Week

  • In 2018, she started her own packaged drinking water brand called ‘Kineer,’ along with Manish Jain.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Promoting her Brand

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi Promoting her Brand

  • In 2019, her religious movement, ‘Kinnar Akhada,’ broke traditions and became the first transgender group to take a bath at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers (on the first day of Kumbh Mela, an ancient Hindu Festival), a tradition which is reserved for reclusive Hindu priests, almost all of whom are men.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Kumbh Mela

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in Kumbh Mela

  • She loves dogs and owns a pet dog.
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi with her Pet

    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi with her Pet

 

 

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References/Sources:   [ + ]
1. IMDb
2. The Criterion
3, 5. DNA India
4. Voice of Margin
6. The News Minute
7. EDEX Live
8. DNA India
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