Circle of Life – Dhanalakshmi : An artist is more than what gender can define!
The stereotypes built around the transgender community is so misleading that we saw a different world out there when we met Dhanalakshmi. We packed our bags loaded with questions on whether she would be comfortable talking to us, would her fellow-beings feel ok to be in the frame and so on. To our surprise, we met the sweetest of people in the Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu – a self-made transwoman theatre artist.
Have you ever thought how uneasy it would be to live in a body that doesn’t have any resemblance to what you actually are? When she started to narrate her story, we could feel what she had gone through. Her journey from Dhandapani to Dhanalakshmi was not easy. Right from the school days, she was self-dependent by earning money to pay her fees by doing small chores in the village. When she opened up to her mother about her identity, it was a trauma for an old woman from a village, but Dhanalakshmi was persistent enough to achieve her dreams despite all the hurdles that came her way.
The life-transforming story of Dhanalakshmi, finding her way in life, giving herself a rebirth to a woman and an artist is inspiring in itself because it shows the power of art and an artist. This is not just a journey of a transwoman but, a successful journey of an artist in achieving her dream of owning a drama company. From facing denials and seeking opportunities to live her life, she has transformed herself to be an owner of a drama company today, giving opportunities to many artists like her.
Right from earning money to pursue her education till 10th, to choosing her career as a theatre artist, she has come a long way in her life, the tough way. Today, Equitas is proud to play a small part in her transformational journey by lending her the financial support to start a drama company. Today, she is leading the way for more and more trans people to spread their light and truth to the world.
Dhanalakshmi was able to create an identity for herself through her art and brought people together through the power of entertainment with the support of financial assistance from Equitas, after continuous rejections from many, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The confidence with which she smiles, the grace with which she performs and speaks about art, the awards that she has received for her immense contribution to the field of drama, the dedication in her eyes to uplift others like her through the power of art… what a woman of substance she has turned out to be!
When we packed up, it was not just the inspirational story that moved us but also the warmth and care with which they welcomed us, just leaving us in awe. Such stories are what keep us going! When you bank with us, you make the dreams of millions come true! When we celebrate the success of these people, you deserve a salute from us!