“…leaves you unsettled. Akkai means to disturb and disrupt us.”
― Vrinda Grover, lawyer and women’s rights activist
“Akkai Padmashali’s forceful and eloquent new book, A Small Step in a Long Journey, tells of the awe-inspiring life of this eminent activist. From the harrowing abuse she has faced to her ironclad determination to change attitudes toward the transgender community, Akkai’s story is an indictment of society’s cruelty toward those it deems to be different, and an inspiration to anyone who wishes for a more just world.”
― Shashi Tharoor, author and politician
More than just an autobiography or memoir, this is a powerful and passionate account of one woman’s battle to claim her identity and place in society. In A Small Step in a Long Journey, Akkai Padmashali, a trans rights activist and campaigner, thinker, writer, poet, and actor, throws out a challenge to society, demanding not sympathy or pity but acceptance, recognition, and respect. Brutally honest and self-critical, Akkai’s writing is a political act in which she lays bare the hurt, humiliation, confusion, insult, love, solidarity and joy that went into making her who she is today.
Time and again Akkai asserts that her story is not just her story. What we call gender and sexuality, she says, ‘is a journey we all travel’, one that connects our personal and political lives, and one that helps us to face difficult, disturbing questions about prejudice and privilege.
About the Author
AKKAI PADMASHALI is a trans rights activist, writer, singer, performer, and motivational speaker. She has been a champion for queer and trans rights, an advocate for policy change and a recipient of Karnataka government’s second highest civilian honour, the Rajyotsava Prashasti. She has also received an honorary doctorate from the Indian Virtual University for Peace and Education. Founder of Ondede, a human rights organization, Akkai’s was among the leading voices opposing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized homosexuality. She has been a strong critic of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and the 2018 and 2016 bills that preceded it.