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Prominent activist Laxmi Tripathi suffers the very discrimination that she fights.
“Ten years ago, they had not come out of the closet,” Atkins said. “With Laxmi backing them, they are no longer afraid to show themselves.”
In some ways, the incident at the club also highlights these changes in society. After the CEO of the Bombay Gymkhana told the dinner party’s organizer that Tripathi must leave, the entire group walked out of the club.
Some members of the club have since galvanized around Tripathi to show their support, and the local media has run numerous stories bringing attention to what happened.
Such outrage at the club’s behavior might not have happened five years ago, Shahani said. Prejudice has not gone away, he said, "but people are being sensitized to the rights of certain populations."
The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has taken up the case, and Tripathi says she plans a lawsuit against the club claiming gender discrimination.
The Bombay Gymkhana did not return GlobalPost's calls for comment.