Laxmi Narayan Tripathi showed extreme courage to step forward to be the change for the transgender movement, a community whose presence is still frowned upon and went on to cater to trans representation internationally. Talking about her accomplishments, she is a Bharatnatyam dancer, a human rights activist and the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN in 2008.
In her TED Talk, she speaks about how loving yourself should be our first priority, the transgender movement and how it’s good to be bad sometimes.
Laxmi begins her speech by talking about embarking on a journey of transgender rights since her days in college. She recounts her difficulties to even use the restroom, for fear of sexual assault and explains the concept of sexuality through her own experience. “My own sexuality is like the Ganges: pure; and it can take many turns in life,” she says.
As stated in The Indian Express, she details cheekily how she answers uncountable questions about coming out to the world, and about her identity as a transgender woman. She says, “This is the way I was; I was as normal as any man or woman.”
According to Laxmi, the most important aspect of life is self-love. She throws a question to the audience, “How many times do we make time to sit and love ourselves? We don’t! Because we are never taught.” “Until and unless you love yourself, how will you love others unconditionally? It is all about giving.”
“Sometimes, it’s good to be bad”, she says. “I was like, ‘Aaaah I need my rights’, and so I got my rights.” A crucial lesson Laxmi learnt was, “Knowledge is power. Acquire knowledge, but the right knowledge”. She ends her incredible speech, saying, “The strength everyone should have is the strength not to surrender… I believe neither religion, nor God, nor any energy you believe in… would discriminate against any soul… because we are all children of the Almighty.”