In a remarkable journey of self-discovery and resilience, Neethu, a transgender woman hailing from the Gadag district of Karnataka, has risen above societal expectations and prejudices to become a symbol of empowerment and hope for the LGBTQ+ community in India. The Trans Queen entered Bigg Boss Kannada season 10 as a contestant and is much-loved by everyone.
Neethu Vanajakshi Before Surgery
He was born into a conservative family, assigned male at birth. At the age of 11, he realized he identified as a third gender. However, he kept this realization hidden from his family, fearing their lack of support. He chose to prioritize his family responsibilities before revealing his true gender identity to make convincing them easier.
After establishing himself as a successful entrepreneur, he felt he had fulfilled his familial duties and decided to disclose his gender identity. He confided in his sister first, who initially found it difficult to believe but eventually accepted him as a transwoman. When he shared his third gender identity with his mother, she went through a period of depression. However, with time, she too came to accept him and his true identity.
While pursuing higher studies in Bangalore, he connected with fellow LGBTQ community members and formed friendships. He started hormonal treatments and underwent medical procedures to transition into a transgender woman, fully embracing her identity. As part of this journey, she changed her name from Manjunath to Neethu Vanajakshi.
Embracing her identity as Neethu Vanajakshi, she pursued a career in modeling. Neethu participated in various fashion shows and beauty contests, establishing herself in the industry.
A Hidden Identity
Neethu’s tale is a testament to bravery and perseverance, as she faced the hurdles of coming of age in a traditional family within a conservative community. Originally named Manjunath, she recognized her authentic self at the age of 11, sensing that a girl was imprisoned within her own body. Despite this realization, the dread of disappointing her family and the societal prejudice against transgender people compelled her to conceal her emotions for many years.
Supporting the Family
As the sole son in her family, Manjunath bore the weight of responsibility to alleviate the economic struggles of her household. To contribute financially, she started crafting and selling flower garlands, generating additional income. Furthermore, her knack for sketching not only earned her prizes but also provided a source of income as she created sketches for others. These endeavors sustained her family, yet it was only when she stumbled upon information about transgender identity on Google that she started comprehending her own emotions.
Manjunath came to Bengaluru for college, where she met other transgender individuals and formed friendships. Despite her newfound community, she remained hesitant to reveal her true identity due to the judgment she had witnessed from her college friends.
Pursuing Her Dreams
While studying in Bengaluru, Manjunath pursued her passion for art and became a tattoo artist. Simultaneously, she started undergoing hormonal treatment to transition. Her dream was to move her family to Bengaluru before revealing her true self to them. She attributed her changing physical appearance to her career as a tattoo artist when her mother inquired.
A Sister’s Acceptance
The pivotal moment in Neethu’s journey came in November 2014 when she finally confided in her sister. She took her sister to an LGBTQ party and revealed her true identity. Initially shocked and emotional, her sister gradually came to accept Neethu for who she truly was. Neethu’s mother, too, went through a journey of understanding and acceptance, thanks in part to Neethu’s efforts to sensitize her to the change through media and conversation.
No looking back
Since then, Neethu has forged ahead with unwavering determination. She underwent medical treatment and surgery to complete her transformation into a woman. In 2019, she achieved a milestone by winning the prestigious Miss Transqueen title, earning her the opportunity to represent India on an international stage.
Neethu, a self-trained semi-classical, kathak, and belly dancer, as well as a yoga practitioner and entrepreneur, has become a beacon of hope for the transgender community. Her message is clear: education is the key to empowerment, and no one should forsake their family. She emphasizes that family acceptance is vital and that it is possible to build bridges of understanding and support within families.
Miss Neethu Vanajakshi
Today, Neethu continues to inspire countless individuals with her story of courage and resilience. As she represents India at the international pageant, she hopes to shed light on the challenges faced by transgender individuals and advocate for acceptance and equality. Neethu’s journey from Manjunath to Nithu serves as a powerful reminder that authenticity and self-acceptance can lead to a life filled with success and fulfillment.
Neethu Vanajakshi’s journey is a testament to the power of self-acceptance and determination. She has not only embraced her true identity but also become a symbol of hope for the LGBTQ+ community in India. Her story shows us that, with unwavering determination and family support, one can overcome societal prejudices and lead a life that is true to themselves.
Q1. How did Neethu discover her true identity?
Ans: Neethu realized her true identity as a transgender woman at the age of 11, feeling that a girl was trapped within her body.
Q2. What challenges did Neethu face while growing up in a conservative society?
Ans: Neethu faced the challenge of hiding her true identity due to the fear of disappointing her family and the stigma surrounding transgender individuals.
Q3. How did Neethu’s family react when she revealed her true identity?
Ans: Initially shocked and emotional, Neethu’s sister gradually accepted her true identity. Neethu’s mother also went through a journey of understanding and acceptance.
Q4. What message does Neethu promote to the transgender community?
Ans: Neethu emphasizes the importance of education, family acceptance, and building bridges of understanding and support within families.
Q5. What milestone did Neethu achieve in 2019?
Ans: In 2019, Neethu won the prestigious Miss Transqueen title, earning the opportunity to represent India on an international stage.