Tista Das

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Tista Das
Native name
Sushanto Das
Born (1978-05-09) 9 May 1978 (age 41)
Other namesTista Mitra
Parent(s)Kailas Das (Father) Shbhra Das (Mother)

Tista Das (Bengali: তিস্তা দাস)[1] or Teesta Das (born 9 May 1978) is an Indian transgender rights activist, actor and writer from the Indian state of West Bengal. She acted in quite a few Hindi and Bengali films.

Personal life[edit]

Born Sushanto Das, Tista was diagnosed with gender identity disorder (GID) at an early stage of life and consequently underwent sex reassignment surgery under Dr. Sheila Rohatgi, a prominent plastic surgeon from Kolkata who specializes in SRS procedures. Following this Tista went public with her identity and was a source of much controversy and social upheaval regarding stereotypes associated with the transsexual community. Her case played a pivotal role in changing the misconceptions in Indian society about transsexuality and went on to provoke a positive national debate in the press and the media on the ethics of sex change and transsexual rights in India. A social activist in transsexual issues and a vocal proponent of transsexual rights, Tista is also a prominent actress with a string of film and television soap appearances to her credit. Tista is regarded by many as an icon of empowerment and choice for the transsexual community in India. Although she was rejected admission initially for undergraduate studies at Rabindra Bharati University, she graduated through correspondence from Bethune College of the University of Calcutta[2]


Tista is an actor and community based counsellor by profession and has quite a few films and various television roles and appearances to her credit. She has also worked as research assistant in Calcutta for Rooprekha Chowdhury. a University of California, Berkeley fellow on a research project on the life style of trans-sexuals and their acceptance in society.[3]

She acted in Sohini Dasgupta's, documentary I Couldn't Be Your Son, Mom - "It is the story of a courageous young person who denies the life she has been given,” says Buddhadeb Dasgupta who has produced the 20- minute documentary directed by Sohini Dasgupta.[4] She played a role in Subrata Dutta’s 45-minute film The Third Gender? which was screened at the Bulgaria film festival in 2006.She also plays the lead role in Beyond Reflections, a movie about her life directed by Umesh Bist.Tista also acted alongside June Maliah in Shankho Ghosh’s full-length feature film Ebong Fera and telefilm Naari where she plays a college girl. She was selected for acting in one of Akash Bangla’s series Sahityer Sera Somoy. Tista is also getting ready with a book on her life, which she will call Shudhu Hridoyer Jonyo.In 2014, she has acted as Heroin in a 48 minutes short film called "Arekti Jiboner Golpo", based on a true story of a post operative Bengali Transsexual girl. The film was tribute to the film maker Rituparno Ghosh. She completed two films in Bengali where she played the protagonist of the film. In Hrisikesh Mondal's docu-feature Achena Bondhutto Tista played as a Psychological counselor. Her role in Achena Bondhutto is about the battle to gain acceptance and convince people that the Transgender community has many more things to do than clapping hands and exposing offences. The film's theme song has been sung by leading Bengali rock singers like Rupam Islam of Fossils, Sidhu of Cactus and Surojit Chatterjee of Bhoomi - all of whom have thrown their weight behind the project.[5] On the other movie punorbasan, Tista played the lead role of an intersexed daughter of a jamindar family in Sobha Bazar. She appeared as a painter in the film who fall in love of a documentary film maker came from Mumbai. This is the first film of a senior journalist Jishnudeep Barman who is really happy and satisfied to cast Tista as heroine in the story.

Having had positive responses from some of Calcutta's well-known theater companies, Tista was supposed to join Shaonli Mitra’s Pancham Baidik. But rejected because of her free gender expression in media. Finally she joined in the intimate unconventional theater group Bivaban Theatre Academy. As times goes on she was invited to take part in many stage plays from many theater groups in Kolkata.


  • Documentary – I could not be your son, mom, (2002)
  • Short Film- Ebong Fera, (2004)
  • Telefilm – Naari, (2004)
  • Short film- The Third Gender?, (2006)
  • Documentary Beyond Reflections, (2009)
  • Short film Rupantar, (2012)
  • Documentary - Maa I Exist Beyond X&Y (2013)
  • Short Film- Arekti Jiboner Golpo/Story Of Another Life (2013)
  • Feature film- Achena Bondhutto, (2014)
Ochena Tista.jpg
  • Feature film- Punarbasan, (2014)


  1. ^ "Gender bender: will and way to cross over". The Telegraph (Calcutta).
  2. ^ "Tista's struggle". The Statesman. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "A Journey of Self Discovery". Society (magazine).
  4. ^ "I could not be your son, mom". The Free Press Journal.
  5. ^ "First Bengali film casting LGBT community awaits release". The Business Standard.

External links[edit]