The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story: A Revathi

lgbtq community matchmaking

Minorities- and most especially sexual minorities all over the world have been suffering from different types of discrimination. This happens in the larger society and at the hands of the state as well. This book is the first ever book written by an Indian hijra and the author is now a hijra rights activist based in Bnagalore. 

The book is a recount of a horror-filled life. Doraisamy was born a male to peasant parents in Tamil Nadu. Early in his childhood, he became aware of the fact that he wasn’t the same as the other boys in his village. 

When at school, he would ignore the boys playing and would much rather play with the girls or dressing up in his mothers clothes. His parents hoped that as the years progressed, he would forget his feminine ways but this wasn’t the case. Increasingly, Doraisamy kept feeling that he was a girl trapped in a male body.

Unfortunately, the more “feminine” he behaved and dressed himself, the more his peers at school, siblings, and parents would taunt him. He always felt alone and had no one to talk to about his paint. After a while, he met a group of young men near his village and for the first time in his life, he wasn’t ‘different’ or alone. He wasn’t the only boy who was feminine. This group of young men were responsible for alerting him to the fact that it was quite possible to a boy to become a hijra or a eunuch.

Late in his teens, the constant torments he was undergoing daily became too much to bear and Doraisamy fled. He found himself in Delhi, a world that was different from the little village he came from. Here, he was taken under the wing of a group of hijras and in their household, started observing the different customs and rituals that were specific to them.

Finally, the head of the household initiated him into the community. Doraisamy was to be her disciple by removing his male sexual organs. He was presented with two options: the first was to get it done by a doctor in hospital and the second was through a hijra dai. An excruciatingly painful method that could be fatal but would also guarantee more respect within the hijra community. He chose the surgical removal. While the operation wasn’t long, there was still a lot of pain involved but in two hours, Doraisamy became the “woman” he always knew he was.  

She was given the name Revathi by her guru and was no longer a kothi or an effeminate male, but a full-fledged member of a community she knew she belonged to. Unfortunately, soon after, Revathi discovers the life she wanted as a hijra wasn’t easy, she gets into sex work, goes back home, and finds that she is dead to her family. 

Soon after, she discovers that her guru and her own chela are murdered and is offered a job by an NGO working for the justice of sexual minorities. Revathi’s life isn’t easy and in the end, she has lost some battles and won some. 

Related Articles