Following the release of the Karunegondu Savalu in December last year, Bengaluru based transgender activist Akkai Padmashali launched the English version of the book titled ‘A Small Step in a Long Journey’ Thursday in Bengaluru. The memoir chronicles Padmashali’s early days of struggle with society as a sexual minority, the dark days of her life in Bengaluru and being a victim of sexual abuse, her fight for LGBTQ rights, her struggles with marriage and much more.
The book was launched by B T Venkatesh, former state public prosecutor, and actor Spoorthi Vishwas, amid the beating of the djembe and a folk song of North Karnataka.
The book also throws light on the political interplay within the NGO community and her reservations with the way they function, the biases held by the people in power and what it takes to fight for the inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community.
Talking about the experience of writing the book, Padmashali said, “I’m very lethargic towards writing. However, the pandemic helped me overcome it. But writing this memoir wasn’t easy. Documenting my life with all the humiliation and discrimination I faced, it was a very aggressive and depressing moment while putting it down in words. The emotions were upbeat. My motive is to make this book an integral part of academics and literature so that the younger generation is aware about inclusivity and plurality.”
She added, “The best phase of my life has always been the period when I transformed myself into a woman. The moment where I chose what I wanted to identity myself as, despite the backlash and the discrimination the society cast upon me.”