It’s very difficult to face the world when you are continuously being looked down upon for your sexuality. In India transgender and LGBT is big population. Almost every other transgender person has to face the unmannerly behaviour in the society they live in. To make their lives better and to make a mark with this individuality, they have to take the tough path. Some struggle stories are very horrific. From standing on the signals for begging to getting in prostitution and then breaking the path reaching on public forum, the challenges are never ending. Since the laws have gone in their favour, we can see many good changes in the community. The same sex people are openly coming forward and expressing about their relationships and marriages. There are trans men who are going for sex reassignment surgeries. After sex reassignment surgery, transsexuals who underwent sex reassignment surgery tend to be less gender dysphonic. They also normally function well both socially and psychologically. Anxiety, depression and hostility levels go lower after sex reassignment surgery. Many studies have been carried out to investigate satisfaction levels of patients after sex reassignment surgery. In these studies, most of the patients have reported being very happy with the results and very few of the people have regret for undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
Unlike all of us, a trangender’s career path is not simple and straight, for they have to make extra efforts to be accepted in the world of ‘commoners’. To prove themselves efficient enough, they made lot of efforts. They are good politicians, social activists and body builders; they are in almost every profession they chose. Their working abilities are as excellent as any common people. There are many successful transgender people who broke the shackles to become the first ones to achieve big in their area of interest, from academics to politics. In recent years in India, considerable progress has been made to protect the rights of transgender people. In 2014, the Supreme Court in NALSA v. India ruled that transgender people should be recognised as a third gender and enjoy all fundamental rights, while also being entitled to specific benefits in education and employment. In 2018, in a historic decision upholding privacy and nondiscrimination of LGBT persons, the Supreme Court struck down the colonial-era sodomy law that criminalised consensual same-sex relations.
If we look at the Census 2011, Uttar Pradesh tops the list among 35 Indian states and Union Territories with 12,916 members, Bihar comes in second with 9,987 transgenders and rural Bengal ranks third with 9,868 members of the third gender. The Census’s gender analysis reports rural India has 74,286 transgenders. The survey reports a population of 7,07,68,606, and 1,57,56,852 households in rural Bengal. The proportion of transgender in the state is around 13.3 percent of the national total.
While states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have transgender welfare boards, Bengal has the country’s sole development board for them. This year, universities like Presidency University and Jadavpur University introduced separate criteria in admission forms for inclusion of the third gender. For 4,000 years, Indians have recognised people who don’t identify as either male or female as hijras. According to the 2011 Census data, almost half a million Indians identified as hijra. From being mocked and treated differently, to facing unfair rejection at workplaces, to being subjected to violence and murder, India’s transgender community have had a harrowing time for ages.
Legislation and education are two important aspects that we need to consider. Criminalising trans phobic violence, and sensitising children and adults – especially mental health and healthcare professionals – about trans identities, are of primary importance. In the year 2018, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that being transgender is not a mental disorder. However, many hijras say they would not want to change their ID – partly out of deference to their families, but also because of the realities that underlie the veneer of acceptance and integration. Third-gender IDs do not address basic rights like marriage, transferring property or adopting children, which are governed by statutes based strictly on a man-woman binary. One of the biggest concerns voiced by trans groups across the country was the certification process, a screening committee appointed to decide who qualifies as transgender and can receive third-gender passports and licenses. Trans Indians have also reported being turned away repeatedly because they didn’t have multiple forms of identification, including photo IDs, needed to make the change. Many leave home at the onset of puberty to join hijra communities in big cities. Often, they take with them little more than the clothes they are wearing, when they flee home in search of acceptance. Although the new law will help to raise the status of the hijra community, greater effort will be needed to tackle the entrenched discrimination they still face.
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