Akkai Padmashali was a tough woman to pin down for matrimony.
Her husband, Vasu, proposed to her several times before she finally agreed to tie the knot.
Padmashali is a well-known transgender activist in India and founder of Ondede, an organisation dedicated to sexual minority rights.
The couple met eight years ago through their work as LGBTI activists with Padmashali admitting she was too focused on her work for marriage.
I was against the institution of marriage as I had apprehensions about domestic violence. Vasu had proposed marriage many times and back then, my work as an activist was more important to me,’ she told The News Minute.
‘My friends and advisors then told me that marriage need not mean violence, and if two people support each other and are in love, it would work out. It took me eight years to understand that.’
Last year Padmashali was awarded a doctorate in Peace and Education by the Indian Virtual University and in she received the Rajyotsava Award.
Marriage won’t slow down Padmashali’s passion for LGBTI rights, which is what made Vasu fall in love with her in the first place.
LGBTI rights and love
‘I have been in love with her for a very long time. Her dedication and passion for the cause is what I love about her the most,’ he said.
‘Since I was an activist for many years, I had told my parents about the transgender community and the challenges they face every day. They were very supportive and accepted my decision completely.
‘We told both our families two months before the wedding and they accepted our decision instantly.’
Padmashali believed this wedding is the first of its kind in the country.
‘I have to say, this marriage is one of a kind in India. It is wonderful that everyone was so supportive,’ she said.
‘It was a happy occasion and there was nothing to hide. My husband knows that I cannot bear children. We are from different castes and that never mattered to any of us.’