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We got stared at a lot. People asked out loudly some out of curiosity, others out of malice whether we were men or women or number nines or devadasis. Several men made bold to touch us, on our backs, on our shoulders. Some attempted to grab our breasts. Original or duplicate? they shouted and hooted. At such moments I felt despair and wondered if there would ever be a way for us to live with dignity and make a decent living. Revathi was born a boy, but felt and behaved like a girl. In telling her life story, Revathi evokes marvellously the deep unease of being in the wrong body that plagued her from childhood. To be true to herself, to escape the constant violence visited upon her by her family and community, the village-born Revathi ran away to Delhi to join a house of hijras. Her life became an incredible series of dangerous physical and emotional journeys to become a woman and to find love. The Truth about Me is the unflinchingly courageous and moving autobiography of a hijra who fought ridicule, persecution and violence both within her home and outside to find a life of dignity.
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A. Revathi is a writer, actor and activist based in Bangalore. She works with Sangama, a sexuality minorities human rights organization for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference. She is the author of Unarvum Uruvamum (Feelings of the Entire Body); and her autobiography, The Truth about Me, is the first of its kind in English from a member of the hijra community. V. Geetha is a writer, translator, social historian and activist. She has been active in the Indian women s movement since 1988, and has written widely, both in Tamil and English, on gender, popular culture, caste, and politics of Tamil Nadu.
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