In today’s time, India’s transgender has reached the peaks of success in various fields. Transgenders are one of the most ignored people in India. Most of them are forced into begging or pushed into the flesh trade. What they need is jobs for them in various sectors. They deserve a decent life. It is not their fault if they were born transgender. The judiciary has already accepted them as a third gender. We as a society really need to elevate ourselves, if at all you have a transgender child, bring them up just as you would bring up any other child. Educate them, discipline them. Help them achieve those dreams. Impatiently concerned when they first start dating. Smile with pride at their graduation. Dance away when they get married. There is nothing wrong if you appreciate your role as normal parents and let them live a normal child’s life. Be the change you want to see. The day this happens we can see a lot of change.
There are many transgender doctors, fashion photographers, fashion designers and makeup artists. We have seen successful film actors like Bobby Darling and trance models walking the ramp. We could see them successful because they created opportunities for them and some of them were given opportunities to work. In India, unfortunately, most of the transgender community are illiterates; they don’t have basic education, shelter. Many of them are HIV positive or terrible with addictions. When we talk about social reform, then there should be an equal willingness from these people also to work and earn in set norms. Most of them love lazy routines and immoderate lifestyles.
People fear them because they are conditioned from a very early age that a man is a man and a woman is a woman. Anyone who defies those conventions is perceived as a threat or as deranged. This is fuelled by religious and ideological biases people develop as they age. Above all these laud claps and abusive language and sometimes some viral videos of transgender community members creating violence makes it even more difficult. They have very less news space; we call normal people to discuss each social issue but hardly any transgender community member. They are also citizens of these nations and definitely understand the politics and socio-economic issues of the nation.
Some legal systems are in theory facilitating the correction of ID cards but in some countries, administrative difficulties remain the same. This year Maharashtra government has promised to give them identity and ration cards to avail government facilities under various schemes. While there are still many who are not registered at birth, for those who do receive a birth certificate then in most parts of the world it will show whether they are ‘male’ or ‘female’. India has a long history of recognizing the 3rd gender. They don’t have the desire to be recognized as a 3rd gender, some of them want to be recognized as a woman, especially after sex change.
One of the huge problems faced by the transgender community in India, especially in metropolitan cities, is the rise of the gay rights movement. The gay rights movement has become the face of the entire gender and sexual minorities (GSM) movement in India. Because most of the men have money and are relatively safe compared to the transgender community. I don’t mean to demean the gay rights movement in any way, but doing away with Section 377 has become the face of the entire GSM movement – section 377 does not make much of a difference to the gay community.
During pride parades in all the major cities, hardly any hijras show up. This is mostly because they barely survive – they have no rights, no way to express their voices because that space has been taken up by the middle-class gays, and neither do they have any kind of political support. If this is the situation, how can one expect them to come for pride marches? They are constantly at work in some way or another; it is their only way to get two square meals a day. And they can’t lose one day, for losing one day means starving for an entire day. This is the sad plight of most of the members of the transgender community.
Everyone has the right to recognition before the law. Persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities shall enjoy legal capacity in all aspects of life. Each person’s self-defined sexual orientation and gender identity is integral to their personality and is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity and freedom. No one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgery, sterilisation or hormonal therapy, as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity. No status, such as marriage or parenthood, may be invoked to prevent the legal recognition of a person’s gender identity. No one shall be subjected to pressure to camouflage, suppress, or deny their sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, India is considering a law to allow homosexual marriage. But before all this, what they need is basic dignity to live as social beings.