Some Lesser Known Facts About Namitha Marimuthu
- Namitha Marimuthu is an Indian transgender model, actress and social activist. In 2021, she appeared as one of the contestants in Star Vijay’s Tamil television reality show Big Boss Season 5.
- During Namitha’s adolescence, she realised her feminine behaviour. According to Namitha Marimuthu, at the age of thirteen, she was tortured by her parents to change his feminine behaviour. Later, she was forced by her parents to have breast surgery to remove extra breast fat.
- At sixteen, her parents sent her to a mental rehabilitation centre for six months to change her feminine behaviour. After six months, her parents brought her back home to determine any change observed in Namitha’s behaviour; however, according to Namitha, after returning from the rehabilitation centre, her feminine behaviour became more noticeable. In an interview, Namitha Marimuthu talked about this and said,
By the age of 16 I was sent to a mental rehabilitation center for 6 months and I was living my life with people who really had problems. After treatment for 6 months, I was taken home to check for any changes. But my hormones started working even more and my feminine behaviour was too obvious for anyone.”
- Then, at the age of seventeen, Namitha’s parents forcibly sent her to a different rehabilitation centre for drug addiction. In a media interview, she talked about the rehabilitation centre and shared that the people admitted to the rehabilitation centre used to move naked, and the centre provided them with drugs to put them to sleep. She said,
Again by the age of 17 I was sent to a different rehabilitation center, this time it was for drug addicts. People were moving naked with no sense of consciousness and the center provided drugs to make us sleep. Mostly we slept there, and after 4 months I was sent home.”
- Namitha, at the age of eighteen, was again sent by her parents to a different rehabilitation centre which offered to change her identity; however, Namitha managed to escape from the rehabilitation. After escaping from the rehabilitation centre, Namitha walked 80 kilometres and reached her grandparent’s house. In an interview, she talked about this and said,
On one fine day I completely broke down the window and after midnight I jumped from the third floor to a nearby tree. With the help of the tree I landed with less damage to my body. I was not aware of the date or time, I walked more than 80km to reach my grandparents’ house and told them about the pain I was going through. I initially told them I would get ready for marriage with a girl to stay home.”
- Later, in 2010, Namitha fled from her grandparent’s home and with the help of SAHODARAN, a non-profitable LGBTQ organization, filed a complaint against her parents at the Madras High Court. According to Namitha, her complaint was the first case in the history of Indian Transgender Rights. After the judgement of Namitha’s case, the Madras Court ruled a legal separation from her parents; however, Namitha said that after the court passed a legal separation, her parents continued to harass her.
- After three months after Namitha’s separation from her parents, she decided to transform herself into a woman. In an interview, she talked about this and said that the non-profitable organization SAHODARAN assisted her in her transition to women. She quoted,
After three months of separation, I decided to transition into a woman and live as a woman full time. I could afford it thanks to my job and my friends because I was working for SAHODARAN, and I also used to dance on stage, which gave me a smaller income. This money helped me to transition into a female at a very young age. After my transition, my parents didn’t accept me for like two months but again after having a conversation with SAHODARAN, my parents accepted me as a woman.”
- Soon after completing her Higher Secondary Education, she pursued a B.tech in computer science; however, since she fled from her home, she had to drop out in the final year of the course. According to Namitha, leaving engineering mid-way is the deepest regret in her career. In an interview, she talked about this and said,
My deepest regret is that I didn’t complete engineering; I had to pull out in my final year, since I left home. Otherwise I could have had a different life as a software engineer.”
- Subsequently, Namitha started her career in modelling. In 2015, she participated in the Miss Kovagam pageant held in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu. In 2018, she won the Miss Trans Queen pageant. In 2019, she represented India in Mis Trans International held in Barcelona. In the pageant, she won the title of Miss Popular and Miss Public Favorite.
- In June 2022, she participated in the Miss International queen held in Thailand. Miss International Queen is the world’s biggest beauty pageant for transgender women.
- According to Namitha, when she decided to pursue her career in modelling, she underwent a massive weight transformation. In a media interview, she talked about the same and said,
I was over 100kg. One day I felt I needed to do something, and started a strict diet and exercise regime, and lost weight. Then the opportunity to enter Miss Chennai (for transwomen) came about. I gave it a shot, and won. I also won the Miss Pondicherry title. My dream is to win the Miss Transqueen India pageant next year, and then represent the country in an international pageant.”
- In 2020, she made her acting debut with the Tamil film Naadodigal 2 in which she portrayed the role of Priya. In an interview, she talked about the character she portrayed in her debut film and said,
Priya from “Naadodigal 2″ is a real life story of a successful trans woman who becomes the police inspector in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. I was moved by the director’s choice of story and I agreed to do the script. In addition, the Indian cinema has always portrayed trans individuals in a negative light but this story really changed the opinions of society. Yes, I’m a full time actress and model. I’m working on a lot of projects now. But I am looking forward to working on more stories about trans women’s empowerment.”
- Subsequently, in 2021, she participated in the Star Vijay television reality show Big Boss 5; however, she walked out of the Big Boss house before completing a week on the show. Later, in a media interview, she talked about the reality show and said that she had to quit the show due to medical reasons. Reportedly, Namitha acquired a UTI infection by using the common washroom in the Bigg Boss house.
- In an interview, Namitha expressed her interest in writing her autobiography. Further, she added that she wants to write about her transition as a transgender. She quoted,
Yes, later in my life I’m sure I will write a book on the transition I’ve experienced and how my life has been changed. This will be my story. Leaving our words is the only legacy for how people will remember us. So I really want to make it with a good impact.
- According to Namitha, Tamil Nadu is better than other states in terms of attitude towards transwomen. In Tamil Nadu, she was provided with a transgender card. Also, in other states in India, ID cards carry a transgender’s birth name; however, Namitha Marimathu’s birth name has been changed in the passport and her gender is mentioned as a female on her Aadhar card. In an interview, Namitha talked about this and said,
We have a transgender card, which is not given to anyone else in the country. Also, in most other states, the ID card carries the birth name. My name, however, has been changed in my passport, and my gender mentioned as female in the Aadhaar card.”