Kalki Subramaniam is an Indian transgender activist, artist, poet, actor and inspirational speaker. Kalki is the founder of Sahodari Foundation, an organization that works for the social, political and economic empowerment of Transgender people in India.
She has spoken to over a million students across India and is known for her relentless and fierce activism for establishing social justice and equality for transgender people in India. She was one of the prominent Indian activists advocating and lobbying behind the recognition of legal rights for transgender people by the Supreme Court of India in 2014. Kalki has received several awards for her contribution towards transgender rights. Kalki was one of the major campaigners behind the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict legalizing transgender identities in India.
Her collection of poetry in Tamil, titled ‘Kuri Aruthean’, was published in 2014. It has been hailed as an outstanding work of poetry. Kalki’s debut in Indian film world happened with ‘Narthaki’, an offbeat film about the life journey of a transsexual woman – her quest for happiness, love and finding her identity and true happiness. She became the first transsexual actor in India to do a lead role in a major motion picture.
She received numerous awards for social work, film performances and her literary contributions. On March 8th 2015, women’s day, Facebook chose Kalki as one of the 12 inspiring women of the world who use Facebook as a community development platform for empowerment. In 2016, Kalki was nominated by L’Oreal Paris India as the ‘Woman of Worth’ under the arts category.
As an artist, Kalki’s paintings speak about diversity of humans and nature. Her paintings are vibrant and colorful, She has done her shows at She has exhibited did her art shows in India, USA, Canada and is now working for the show in Europe. She continues to paint with passion and has been touring with her artworks that speak about love and diversity.
Being an artist, through Sahodari Foundation, she found the Trans/Hearts art project through which she offers free workshops for transgender people and promotes their artworks and supports their livelihood. More than 200 transgender people have attended her workshops. This entrepreneurship venture is first of its kind in South Asia.
She has initiated the Trans/hearts project with a mission to reach out to 10,000 transgender people to encourage and train them to paint their untold stories on canvas.
In February 2017, Kalki Subramaniam was invited by the Harvard University to speak at the India Conference; she received a standing ovation during her speech. She also spoke at University of California during her U.S Visit. In June 2017, Kalki was awarded the honorary doctorate by International Tamil University USA in Madurai.
In 2018, Kalki was invited by Ministry of Global Affairs, Canada to participate at the Global Conference on lgbt human rights and Inclusive development which happened in Vancouver, Canada. She was also felicitated by Canada Tamil Sangam in Toronto. She was honored by MG Motors as one of the finest changemakers of India.
In November 2018, she was invited by Schwules Museum, Germany to present her poetry, art and activism to special audience. In July 2018, she became a proud ambassador for TransAmsterdam.
Beautiful article published in Indian Express Newspaper about Kalki her Maya art exposition at TransAmsterdam in Manor Hotel, ambassador for TransAmsterdam and German, Amsterdam visit. #kalkisubramaniam #transamsterdam #transandart #transandproud #india #amsterdam #indianexpressnewspaper