Identities are not mere markers we are known by, they define as well as limit us. They can both confine or release a consciousness. I Am Vidya is the story of one such journey that of a declaration, of the claiming of an identity. It is an assertion of a consciousness that has suffered the agony of being trapped in a mould it does not belong to, a body it does not identify with. Vidya has lived through all the indignities forced upon a tirunangai, a transgender, by a society which divides and defines itself as men and women in terms of biology alone from being spurned by her family, to begging on the streets as a social outcast, from donning a woman’s clothes, to undergoing excruciating surgery to lose her ‘manhood’, from suffering emotional and physical harassment, to arriving at her true identity. A compelling narrative about a woman trapped within a man’s body, this is a story of extraordinary courage and perseverance.
Living Smile Vidya has a master’s degree in linguistics and is keenly interested in contemporary theatre and cinema. She currently works for a voluntary organization engaged in serving destitute people in Chennai.