Narthaki Nataraj, 52, Classical Dancer
“In the whole world, only the Indian government has awarded a transgender with an honour, and I was the first recipient in 2011. What a moment it was.”
I was born in Madurai in a well-off family. I had nine siblings. I don’t remember ever feeling like a boy. I realised that I was caged in the wrong body. I was not accepted by my family. At that time, no one knew much about the state of transgenders. I was an embarrassment to my parents so I had to leave my house at an early age. I did some menial jobs with my friend Sakthi Bhaskar. Sakthi and I are from the same town. We studied together and noticed our similarities. We left our homes together as our families did not accept us and she has been my support ever since. My sex change was a painful process. But, when I finally...