Success Story-18

Kalki Subramaniam

Kalki Subramaniam ,a transgender’s success story.

Success is a journey and it is not meant for any specific cast,cred or gender.It is all about just changing dreams without thinking about who I am and just, about the difference I can make it to the society.

Presenting a masterpiece story , a successful journey of a transgender Kalki Subramaniam, an artist, actress, writer, inspirational speaker and entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu.

 Born in Pollachi, a town in Tamil Nadu into a working-class family, Kalki was an academically bright student and topper in her class. Kalki is credited with two master’s degrees: Masters in Journalism Mass Communication and Masters in International Relations. During her postgraduate studies, she started publishing a monthly magazine in Tamil for transgender women called Sahodari , meaning sister. This is the first Tamil magazine published for transgender people in India.

It was the year 2005, when Kalki started campaigning for transgender rights in India. She is known for her innovative activism using technology, art, films, and literature as tools to voice for transgender empowerment. She was one of India’s well-known campaigners behind the Supreme Court of India’s judgment legalizing transgender identity.In 2009 when a popular matrimonial website rejected the matrimonial listing of a transgender woman, she took it as a challenge and launched India’s first matrimonial website for transgender people. The project was later closed due to lack of financial support. She has created more than 12 documentary films on LGBT rights and has also appeared in international documentary films. In 2010, she trained many underprivileged transgender women in community journalism and encouraged them to make short documentary films telling their own stories. When she lived in Auroville, she protested against encroachments of village lands by Auroville. In October 2019, Kalki organised the first LGBTOI pride march in Coimbatore city of Tamil Nadu.

In 2008, Kalki founded the Sahodari Foundation, an organization that speaks out for transgender people in India. In 2017, Subramaniam found the Transhearts art project, through which she has trained more than 200 transgender people in creating expressive artworks supporting their livelihood through workshops.

In 2011 kalki enters the Tamil Film industry,started with a lead role in Tamil Film,Narthagi,which focused around the lives of transgender people. She made a special appearance in the 2018 film Sarkar  which made her very popular.She is the first transgender woman in India to do a lead role in a motion picture. In 2019, Subramaniam acted in a lead role in a parallel Hindi feature film named Kalashnikov-The Lone Wolf which won the best film jury honours at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival.

Kalki’s has also shown an impact in artworks ,her art work is considered vibrant and colourful all over the world. She has been invited to USA, Canada, Netherlands, and Germany to speak on art and activism.In 2016, Subramaniam sold her paintings through a crowdfunding campaign and funded the education of underprivileged transgender women. Her art speaks without words, providing transgender victims of sexual and physical abuse a freedom to express their pain through art called the Red Wall Project, also known as the Shut Up! Show. Hundreds of transgender people have participated in the project across the different States of India and wrote their testimonials on a white paper with a red palm impression to show protest against sexual exploitation.In November 2019, Kalki paid a tribute art show to the late Bollywood actress Sridevi by exhibiting digital portraits of Sridevi. Sridevi has been her inspiration since childhood.

In 2015, Kalki’s collection of Tamil poems on transgender lives titled Kuri Aruthean was published . The collection consisted of 25 poems with line-drawings by Kalki. She has also written number of articles and essays in online and print publications. In 2018, three of her poems from the poetry collection Kuri Aruthean were translated in German language and published in an art journal. Six of her poems from the book were adopted into poetic short films titled Vadu (The Scar) directed by herself. She has also written many articles in Indian print and online publications on LGBT rights in India.

She is The recipient of achievers award from Coimbatore Lawyers Association.In 2014, she was chosen by Facebook as one of the 12 inspiring women of the world who used Facebook for community development. In 2016, she was nominated by NDTV For it’s women of worth Award under the arts category.

In February 2017, she was invited by Harvard Business School, Harvard University to speak on behalf of the sexual minorities, and represent the Indian transgender community. She received a standing ovation for her speech.  

The journey of Kalika Subramanyam is inspiring and motivating ,and it makes us to realize that we can make a difference in the society,if we have our will right,it does not matter how and where we are born,everyone is equal in the eyes of God,it is we ,who have created all the confusions in the society.

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