6 Indian Transgenders Who Became Successful Despite Indian Society

Since when is a person’s sexuality the parameter for their success? Why are we, as a society, so concerned about what a person does in their house? Who are we to raise a question on what is right and what is wrong? India, after a long struggle, recently validated transgenders as the third gender.

They might have gotten recognized on government forms but when it comes to their work life, they aren’t considered at all. Most of the transgenders have some menial work and aren’t considered qualified to be given a job in any sector.

While we are fighting for equal rights for all irrespective of gender or sexuality, there are certain Transgenders who are certainly making the nation proud.

1. Manabi Bandyopadhyay: College principal


Manabi Bandyopadhyay is a professor and the first transgender person in India who has completed Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). She was an associate professor in Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya. The world got its first transgender college principal when she took charge of Krishnagar Women’s College in West Bengal in 2015.

2. Padmini Prakash: Television anchor


Just after 5 months of court declaration of transgender to be recognised as a legal third gender, we saw a news anchor rising up. Padmini Prakash became the first transgender television news anchor in the country. She had worked as a dancer and did act in quite a few Tamil soap operas before being an anchor. 

While we talk about her achievements, we should not forget a struggle that they have to go tough when they were just adolescents. Padmini had a tough childhood. She was disowned by her family when she was only 13. She even tried to commit suicide.

In an interview with the BBC, she recalls, “I travelled all over. I enrolled in an undergraduate programme in commerce through distance education, but I had financial problems so I dropped out after two years.”

Since then Padmini has been a vocal activist for transgender rights and has been protesting against the discrimination, harassment and stigma that the sexual minority faces in India.

3. Kamla Jaan: Mayor


Kamla Jaan contested and won the elections from Katni district to become the world’s first eunuch mayor. But In 2003, the High Court upheld that Kamla Jaan was not a “woman” and hence she was asked to step down from the post of mayor, reserved for a female candidate.

But when she was the mayor of Katni for two and half years, she ran the city pretty well, during which she sunk wells, fixed drains and renovated the bus station.

4. Madhu Kinnar, Mayor


Madhu Kinnar won the Mayoral election of the Raigarh Municipal Corporation by 4,537 votes against BJP’s Mahaveer Guruji. Belonging to Dalit community is the first transgender to get elected as mayor of the state.

She is an eminent folk dancer and a street theatre artist. She was ousted from her home because of her gender status at a young age and earned her livelihood by singing and dancing on trains. She is educated up to the eighth grade but limited education has never stopped her to work for social upliftment.

5. Kalki Subramaniam, Entrepreneur


Kalki is a journalist, writer, actor and activist. She holds two masters: in Journalism and Mass Communication and International Relations. She is India’s first transgender entrepreneur.

“I came out of the rejection by reading a lot and studying really hard. From the age of 16, I started taking hormone tablets and from 21, I took female hormone injections. At 23, I had an operation and changed my sex completely. I had earned the money from my work at an MNC and went for the operation to change myself. It is because of my education and work that I could live an independent life.”

She wanted to be an entrepreneur when she saw that most of the transgender community are into social work. And quite a few of them are into arts like dancing. But she wants to see many people in the transgender community doing business and becoming successful entrepreneurs. (Source)

6. Anjali Ameer, Actress


Model turned actress Anjali underwent a sex change surgery at the age of 20. Indian cinema added a new chapter when they accepted them and chose a transgender to play a lead role in the movie.

Anjali Ameer, a transsexual, the first one to play a female lead in the Indian cinema. The bilingual (Tamil and Malayalam) directed by Ram released last year. The Tamil version is called ‘Peranbu’.

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Hema Sanghavi

A crazy Bibliophile who is an ambivert. Harry Potter fanatic, and a foodie. Usually ends up reading fan-fiction and dreams of writing one!

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