My involvement for the betterment of the Hijda community will continue till the day I die,” announces transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripati, at the music launch of the Bollywood film, Queens! The Destiny Of Dance, which she will star in. The 30-year-old who has been part of various documentaries and short films, recently attended the UN Development Program meet to address the problems faced by the transsexual society in India.
Queens! The Destiny Of Dance is based on the life of eunuchs and their journey in Indian society.
Many incidents in the film have been inspired by real life stories. “I was approached for the movie in 2000. But work only began two years ago,” says Laxmi who runs her own NGO, Astitva. “Hijdas have been stereotyped and mocked in Bollywood. There is more to us than clapping hands and loud make-up. This movie will portray the real struggles we go through.” Certain members of the film industry too came out to support her. Present at the music launch were Hema Malini, Rishi Kapoor and Nitin Mukesh.
“Transsexuals are looked down upon by the society, so their parents are also forced to discriminate openly. They have no choice, but to work as bar dancers and prostitutes due to the unavailability of other work,” says Tripati who hopes that the movie will help bring about some empathy amongst people.
As for the success of the film, she will only sense it when the minority community is given an equal opportunity to education, housing and employment.