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Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Chair and Founder, Astitva Trust, Asia’s First Transgender Organization, Barkha Dutt, TV Journalist, Author and Founding Editor, Mojo Media on 'India’s Third Gender' at The 2017 Women In The World Summit in New York City; 4/7/2017

Real Talk

Laxmi Tripathi describes how being ‘out’ is really just a question of perspective

April 14, 2017

‘It is thousands of times I’ve answered this question: When did you know you were ‘out’? I say I came only once “out” from my mother’s womb, and I was out. And then the world made me realize I was different.’ In describing how she has had to consistently justify her sexuality, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, outspoken activist for the third gender or ‘Hijra’ status in India, broke down the reality of what it really means to be transgender. While India has legally recognized Hijra as a third gender — indeed traditionally transgendered persons are recognized as demigods — the social stigma still remains against those who choose to define gender for themselves. ‘You were born a boy,’ began Barkha Dutt who interviewed Laxmi on the stage of the 8th Annual Women in the World Summit. ‘The doctor said so,’ Laxmi fired back, ‘but science is made by humans and to make mistakes is human so it’s ok.’ As the United States continues to struggle with how to recognize and legitimize the rights of transgendered people, Laxmi’s simple but exacting explanation of gender identity struck a chord with the audience. Watch above to see Laxmi’s candid response. To see the full highlights from Laxmi’s interview click here.

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