New Delhi: Former US President Barack Obama on Friday addressed a packed Town Hall in New Delhi, and answered a volley of questions posed by young leaders from across the country. One such rather interesting question was asked by a noted transgender rights activist who rued about discriminatory laws in India against the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender (LGBT) community the country.
As per a NDTV report, Akkai Padmashali asked the former US president, "When the state terror is against minorities - be it transgender, sexual minority, caste, class, creed, religious - when you have been stigmatised, when you've been discriminated and patriarchal power and domination is against you - I am a criminal before Section 377 which criminalises transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual - how do I then raise my voice?"
Her thought-provoking question was met with applause and cheers.
While Obama declined to speak about the specifics of Indian law on this subject as he was not well-versed with it, he did have a few inspiring words for Akkai Padmashali and asked her to "find her voice and tell her story".
The 44th US President said, " I can't speak to the specifics of legislation in India because I'm not qualified, I've not been keeping pace with exactly what's happening in the parliament around these kind of issues. It begins with what you just did, which is to find your voice, and articulate your views, your experiences and tell your story. And that's true of any group that is marginalised, stigmatised."
He further said, "Finding that voice and being able to tell a story so that the perceptions that somehow you are different are changed... people start recognising their own experiences in you, they see your humanity," Read more via Times Now