Trans Rights Activist Akkai Forced to Raise Funds for a House
A photo from Akkai and Vasu’s wedding that took place in January 2017.
A photo from Akkai and Vasu’s wedding that took place in January 2017.(Photo Courtesy: The News Minute)

Trans Rights Activist Akkai Forced to Raise Funds for a House

Just about a year after they got married, Akkai Padmashali, a trans woman, and her partner Vasu have broken the norms yet again. The couple registered their marriage in Bengaluru, and Akkai reportedly became the first transgender person in Karnataka to have done so.

Akkai and Vasu got married on 20 January 2017 after being in a relationship for eight years. It took a year to register the marriage as Vasu had to put together various documents and Akkai, a transgender rights activist, was busy working on various issues.

They applied for the registration in December last year and it came through within the stipulated period of 30 days, on Tuesday, 23 January 2018.

Sign Akkai’s Change.org petition and Help Her Get a Home Loan

The couple were accompanied to the sub-registrar’s office in KR Puram by family and friends from the transgender community. Akkai said it was great to have a mixed group of people with them, and that while the process was long-drawn due to the paperwork, everyone had been supportive.

A well-known transgender rights activist, Akkai runs Ondede (‘convergence’ in Kannada), an organisation that aims to create awareness about sexuality, sexual diversity and the right to choose one’s sexual orientation. Vasu runs a laundry service in Magadi.

Also Read: Transgender Defeats Prejudices To Become India’s First Policewoman

But Akkai Padmashali’s fight is not over yet.

Help Akkai Padmashali And her Husband Find a Shelter

I was told to vacate multiple houses because of my identity. I need your support to be able to purchase a house in my village - a place that I can call home. My husband, Vasu, and I want to buy a place in Netenahalli (next to Nirmala Theatre Road), Ramnagar District, Karnataka.
Akkai Padmashali.

To see this dream come true, Padmashali has launched a fundraiser campaign on the popular crowdfunding website, Ketto.org.

“We have managed to collect Rs. 7 lakhs with the help of friends and family, but today, need your love and unconditional support. I need Rs. 15 lakhs, and you can make this a possible for me!” she adds.

Vasu had proposed marriage to Akkai multiple times over the course of their relationship. However, Akkai had apprehensions about domestic violence at the time, which is why she turned him down.

My friends and advisers then told me that marriage need not mean violence, and if two people support each other and are in love, it would work out. It took me eight years to understand that.
Akkai Padmashali

Akkai said that now she does not face any issues apart from the usual bureaucratic hurdles.

Other southern states do not appear to have documented cases of transgender persons registering their marriage.

Also Read: On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Screams That India Ignored

Activists told The News Minute that many do not even want to make their relationships public because of the social stigma they face and the legal hurdles that comes after. One trans woman from Kerala, who has been in a long term relationship with her partner, said that they have been staying at their friend’s place because no one would rent out an accommodation to them.

Also Read: We Are as Smart as You: Transgender People Bare Their Hearts

(With inputs from The News Minute)

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)

Follow our News section for more stories.