Grace Banu

Grace Banu is a Dalit and trans activist. India’s first trans engineer, she is also a central member of the mobilisation and advocacy around the amendment of the Transgender Protection of Rights Bill. Her daughter, Tharika Banu, has been the first transgender person to have completed her secondary education in Tamil Nadu. Denied admission first, Grace fought for her daughter’s rights by filing a case  in the Madras High Court. Grace Banu vehemently argues for trans rights such as the right to paid leave during transition surgery just like paid maternity leave and speaks on various safeguards that must be initiated at workplaces and educational institutions to make them safe and welcoming to trans people.  She stresses on the importance of reservations as part of affirmative action for transgender people. As the founder and director of Trans Rights Now Collective, she has been at the forefront of India’s lgbtqia+ rights movement.