Bhoomi Harendran has become the first Transgender woman in Sri Lanka to host a political talkshow in history.
The show is titled Political Katha with Bhoomi Harendran, a one-on-one talkshow initiated by Lankadeepa newspaper following the awakening of the political heat towards the upcoming election.
The first episode aired on Friday (17) makes her host an interview with former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake.
To many viewers, this might be a random talkshow amidst countless others streamed in the online platform aiming political insights through the waves of the election battle favoured by a limited audience. However, this is said to be the first time an openly acknowledged member of the Sri Lankan LGBTIQ community to host a most controversial platform amongst others, community sources told LNW.
Who is Bhoomi?
Bhoomi Harendran is a known voice in Sri Lanka’s human rights movement calling for the rights of the LGBTIQ community. Throughout the decade since her breakthrough as a young advocate for HIV prevention and key populations in 2010, Bhoomi has been an activist, a media spokesperson, a role model and a subcommittee member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka speaking out for the rights of communities who are marginalised due to their sexual orientation and gender identity and/ or expression.
Her notable contributions to the community include her active role in the establishment of the Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) introduced via circulars issued by Ministry of Health (No. 01-34/2016) and Registrar General’s Department (No. 06/2016) in 2016 allowing transgender people to legally change their gender, many advocacy media material since 2010 in both mass media and social media and commitments as a HIV activist to the national response to eradicate HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Sri Lanka, thereby breaking barriers in the national HIV response to differentiate MSM and transgender communities as separate components.
Bhoomi has closely worked with many community-based organisations in Sri Lanka that are working for the rights of key populations and the LGBTIQ community.
She is currently serving as the Executive Director of the National Transgender Network Sri Lanka, a non-governmental organisation working for the rights of the Transgender communities of Sri Lanka.
Bhoomi is also an award winning actress for her role in the hit blockbuster Frangipani (Sayapethi Kusuma).