The LGBT community has suffered a lot across the globe, first legally, and then socially. Among them, few rose above all and tried to make the world a better place for the community. Among them are Laverne Cox, an American actress and Sathyasri Sharmila, India’s first transgender lawyer. Let’s know more about them.
India’s first transgender lawyer, Sathyasri Sharmila
Sathyasri Sharmila became lawyer in order to include transgender community into the mainstream.
Sharmila, hails from Tamil Nadu and she did not have an easy journey. She was subject to torture and abuse on account of her gender.
“Today, I enrolled my name in the Bar Council Of Tamil Nadu And Puducherry and became the first transgender lawyer in India. I have struggled a lot in my life,”Sharmila told ANI in an interview
Born as Udaykumar, Sharmila became the first transgender lawyer to enroll herself with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTNP).
Sharmila walked out of her home at the age of 18, after her neighbours began ill-treating her. She then changed her name to Sathyasri Sharmila, and completed her B.Com (Company Secretaryship) from Paramakudi.
Wanting to help her community in any way possible, she decided to take up law thereafter. She joined the Bachelors of Law course in Salem Government College in 2004. She completed the course in 2007.
The journey, of course, was riddled with hurdles. For instance, she had left home, but she couldn’t stay in the college hostel because she could not live with men, as she identified herself as a woman, and neither could she live with the girls, as she had enrolled as a man.
Besides, she waited for over a decade before she could feel confident enough to enroll herself with the State Bar Council. Nevertheless, she forgot all her woes when the Judges called out her name as the first transgender lawyer in the State.
However, the 36-year-old envisions a society where people from her community can serve at higher positions across the country.
Laverne Cox; American actress
Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBT advocate. She rose to prominence with her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. With this, she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category, and the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award since composer/musician Angela Morley in 1990.
Laverne Cox was born in Mobile, Alabama, and was raised by a single mother and grandmother within the AME Zion church. She has an identical twin brother, M Lamar, who portrayed the pre-transitioning Sophia (as Marcus) in Orange Is the New Black. Cox stated she attempted suicide at the age of 11, when she noticed that she had developed feelings about her male classmates and had been bullied for several years for not acting “the way someone assigned male at birth was supposed to act”.
She is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Alabama, where she studied creative writing before switching to dance. She then studied for two years at Indiana University Bloomington before transferring to Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she switched from dancing (specifically classical ballet) to acting.
Cox appeared as a contestant on the first season of I Want to Work for Diddy; afterwards she was approached by VH1 about show ideas. From that came the makeover television series TRANSform Me, which made Cox the first African-American transgender person to produce and star in her own TV show.