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Transgender Activist Akkai Formalises Marriage; A First for Karnataka

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Activist Akkai Padmashali, co-founder of the NGO Ondede and the first transgender woman in the country to have awarded Honorary doctorate, registered her marriage in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Transgender rights activist and Karnataka Rajyotsava Award Winner, Padmashali, tied the knot with LGBTQI activist Vasudev V. on January 20, 2017. It was nearly four years ago that the Supreme Court recognised the rights of transgender persons and only few months ago a policy came from the Karnataka State Cabinet making the registration of the wedding possible.

This is officially the first marriage of a transgender person in Karnataka and hence deserves a celebration.

The couple had announced their wedding defying many odds. While the groom was a man, from a lower middle-class family in Magadi, an isolated place in Bengaluru, the bride who was born Jagadish and transformed into a transwoman later, and is a known face for her tireless crusade for the third gender in the metropolis.

READ: Activist Akkai Padmashali is the first transgender woman to be awarded Honorary doctorate

“My husband and I belong to different castes. I’m a transwoman who can’t bear a child, however, he was in love with me and determined to marry me. We told our parents about our decision and there was no word of opposition,” she said to TOI back then.

Padmashali met Vasudev, eight years ago in Bengaluru. “I did not believe in the institution of marriage, but my friends advised me to go for it. When I finally agreed, our families supported us,” she said, The Hindu reported.

Years later, they both officially announced their marriage on paper. “We finally applied in December and after the required time frame of 30 days, we registered our marriage on Tuesday,” Padmashali said adding, “It is a big thing to be registered under and recognised by a government body. The government should frame schemes to support transgenders’ marriage.”

Also read: Weaving magic for transgender women: A unique initiative by a Kerala designer

And, how do they define their marriage? “I don’t see her as a transwoman, I see her as a woman,” said Vasu. He was happy that his family was more supportive than ever. “Yes, I had to tell them what a transwoman was and how the community is. Later, I told them about Akkai and my wish to marry her. They gave me their blessings,” he said.

Akkai studied till class 10. Due to her identity, she couldn’t pursue her education. Addressing the issues related the transgender community became her lifelong battle. For her efforts, Akkai was bestowed with a doctorate by the Indian Virtual University for Peace and Education at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 2016.

READ: Kami Sid – Pakistan’s First Trans Model’s Debut Photoshoot

Feature Image Credit: www.siasat.com

Read More Stories By Ria Das