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The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story is an autobiography by A Revathi, a prominent Hijra activist. This groundbreaking work gives voice to the often marginalized and misunderstood Hijra community in India. In this captivating narrative, Revathi courageously shares her journey, providing a rare and intimate glimpse into the challenges and triumphs faced by hijras in a society that often shuns and discriminates against them. By sharing her experiences, Revathi aims to challenge societal norms and prejudices, urging readers to question their biases and fostering empathy and understanding towards the hijra community. This book holds immense significance in creating awareness and advocating for the rights and acceptance of hijras in a society that often overlooks their humanity.

Hijras are a marginalized and stigmatized community in Indian society, often called the “third gender.” They are individuals who do not conform to traditional male or female gender norms and may identify as transgender, intersex, or eunuchs. Hijras have a long history in India, dating back to ancient times, and were once respected as spiritual beings with special powers. However, with the influence of British colonialism and the imposition of Western binary gender norms, they have faced increasing discrimination and social exclusion. Despite their significant presence in Indian society, hijras face challenges in accessing fundamental rights such as healthcare, education, and employment.

The Hijra community in India has a rich cultural and historical context that dates back centuries. In ancient Indian texts, Hijras were often revered and held essential roles in society, such as serving as advisors to the royal courts. They were seen as a third gender, beyond the binary notions of male and female, and were believed to possess spiritual powers. However, the arrival of British colonialism in the 19th century brought a drastic change in attitudes towards Hijras. The British, influenced by their strict gender norms, criminalized Hijra practices and marginalized them. This legacy of discrimination continues to impact the Hijra community today as they struggle to regain their rightful place and access to fundamental rights.

A Revathi

In The Truth about Me: A Hijra Life Story, the author shares her journey as a Hijra, providing a powerful account of the challenges faced by the community. Revathi’s narrative delves deep into the struggles of identity and acceptance as she navigates a society that constantly denies her existence and imposes its rigid gender norms. Through her story, the author sheds light on the resilience and courage of the Hijra community as they strive for recognition and equality in a world that often refuses to acknowledge their humanity. She vividly describes the discrimination and violence that Hijras face daily, from being denied primary healthcare and education to being subjected to physical and verbal abuse. Despite these adversities, Revathi’s unwavering determination to live authentically and fight for the rights of her community is truly inspiring. Her story serves as a call to action for society to challenge its preconceived notions of gender and create a more inclusive and accepting world for all. By sharing her personal experiences and shedding light on the hardships faced by Hijras, Revathi’s story compels us to acknowledge the importance of empathy and compassion in our society. It serves as a reminder that everyone, regardless of gender identity, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Revathi’s resilience and courage in the face of adversity should motivate us to actively work towards dismantling the barriers and prejudices that hinder the progress of marginalized communities. Her narrative is a powerful catalyst for change, urging us to strive for a future where equality and acceptance are the norm.

The central themes and issues addressed in the book revolve around gender identity, discrimination, and social justice. Revathi’s story sheds light on the challenges faced by transgender individuals in society, including the lack of acceptance, limited opportunities, and the constant struggle for dignity and respect. The book also explores the importance of empathy, understanding, and actively working towards dismantling societal barriers and prejudices to create a more inclusive and equal world. Through Revathi’s experiences, the book highlights the profound impact that gender identity has on an individual’s life and the detrimental effects of discrimination. It emphasizes the urgent need for society to recognize and respect the rights of transgender individuals, advocating for their full inclusion in all aspects of life. Moreover, the book serves as a call to action, urging readers to actively engage in the fight for social justice and work towards creating a society that celebrates diversity and upholds the principles of equality and respect for all.

In her memoir, Revathi employs a captivating and intimate writing style that invites readers to connect with her experiences on a personal level. Her narrative structure is chronological and reflective, as she delves into her past while providing insightful commentary on the societal issues surrounding transgender rights. Revathi’s use of vivid imagery and descriptive language helps the reader visualize the challenges she faced, making her story all the more impactful and inspiring. Through her detailed descriptions, readers can almost feel the weight of societal expectations and discrimination that Revathi carried throughout her journey. This raw honesty and vulnerability in her writing allow readers to empathize with her struggles and triumphs. By shedding light on the societal issues surrounding transgender rights, Revathi tells her own story and advocates for change and acceptance. Her memoir is a powerful reminder of the importance of understanding and compassion in creating a more inclusive world.

Personal Journey

Revathi’s narrative offers a profoundly personal account of her life, highlighting her struggles, joys, and experiences as a transgender person in India. She takes readers on a journey through her childhood, her experiences of gender dysphoria, and eventual transition into womanhood.

Social Stigma and Discrimination

The book sheds light on the pervasive social stigma and discrimination faced by Hijras and transgender individuals in India. Revathi’s experiences reflect the broader societal biases and prejudices against transgender people, including rejection by family, limited employment opportunities, and a lack of access to healthcare.


Revathi’s story emphasizes the intersectionality of her identity. She belongs to a marginalized gender and sexual minority group in India, and her experiences are further shaped by her lower socio-economic background. This intersectionality underscores the compounded discrimination faced by individuals like her.

Activism and Empowerment

Throughout the book, Revathi’s story also highlights her journey from victimhood to empowerment. She becomes an advocate for transgender rights and works towards improving the social and legal conditions for Hijras in India. Her story inspires others within the community to embrace their identities and demand their rights.

Cultural Insights

The book provides cultural insights into the Hijra community in India, including their traditions, rituals, and social hierarchies. It helps readers understand the complex dynamics within the community and the role of Hijras in Indian society as both revered and marginalized figures.

Narrative Style

Revathi’s writing style is candid and intimate, drawing readers into her world and emotions. The first-person narrative allows readers to empathize with her struggles and triumphs, making the book a powerful tool for raising awareness about transgender issues.


The book has been instrumental in increasing awareness about transgender rights and the challenges faced by Hijras in India. It has contributed to ongoing discussions about gender diversity, discrimination, and the need for social change.

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Devika Panikar
δάσκαλος (dáskalos) means the teacher in Greek. Devika Panikar has been teaching English Language and Literature since 2006. She is an Assistant Professor with the Directorate of Collegiate Education under the Government of Kerala. She teaches at the Government Colleges under this directorate and is now posted at the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. This website is a collection of lecture notes she prepared by referencing various sources for her students’ perusal. It has been compiled here for the sake of future generations.