After the sari-clad transgender Laxmi Narayan Tripathi’s insulting ouster from Bombay’s posh Gymkhana Club on Sunday, ‘sophisticated’ celebrity cross dressers who are a permanent fixture on page 3 are saying maybe she didn’t ‘dress well’.
Actor Bobby Darling, a popular transgender from Bollywood, claims to have never gone through this problem anywhere. “Laxmi is a hijra. I have never faced any such incident at any club. I have even performed at the Gymkhana Club many times. There has to be some other reason for them turning Laxmi away. Maybe it was her loud behaviour,” she says.
Celebrated Delhi based hair stylist Sylvie also admits to have never faced such a problem. She says, “I can’t comment on Laxmi’s clothes or behaviour, but I have never faced this in my life. I freely go to all prestigious clubs in the Capital or elsewhere.” Laxmi, on the other hand, is still clueless about why she was asked to leave the club. “I am proud to be a hijra. I’ve dined with royalty, and gone to the best of hotels and clubs. This is shocking! And why should I give up wearing sari for anything at all?”she asks.
Reacting to the incident, actor and gay rights supporter Celina Jaitly said, “They have violated her [Laxmi’s] right to equality and freedom. Had the entry to the club been refused for a valid reason, it would have been different. But to be removed unceremoniously, just because she is a transgender, is absolutely an insult.”
Clubs in the Capital seem to have different rules, when it comes to entry or membership for transgenders. Sanjeev Kumar, membership officer, India Habitat Center, says, “Till now, no one has been denied entry because of him/her being a cross-dresser.”
However, M D Gupta from Friends Club at Friends Colony (W) says, “We are categorical about not allowing membership or entry to cross dressers.”
A source from the Gymkhana Club in Delhi said that as long as every criteria is fulfilled, an applicant’s alternate sexuality is not considered important.