Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Transgender - Going beyond exterior and meeting real people

When I was in school, I was taught to treat everybody equally. Being thin and having a face of pimples, I idolized my moral value teacher for such lesson until I saw him running from a transgender at a bus stop. My mind started questioning, but I didn’t dare to find out what makes transgender people so different than others. Time flew and this curiosity of discovering more took a back seat until I met one of them. That resting in peace childhood curiosity re-flamed and a heart aching conversation started.

They say they are independent of sexual orientations as labels are inadequate to define them. They might be forcibly assigned to a sex at birth, but this is an incomplete depiction of them. You may tag them as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, but what they all wants is not being trapped in several descriptions, but equal human rights.

Fear of being removed from the parental home while underage, is a cause for transgender people not revealing their true identity to their families. Friends and relatives having to accept the 'death' of one gender and 'birth' of another is tough. LGBT subculture is the only place where transgender people are socially accepted. Non-recognition of the identity denies them equal protection of the law, thereby leaving them vulnerable to harassment, violence and sexual assault alongside lesbians and gays.

transgender identity

Raised and treated as someone, yet yearning to be someone else can be as traumatic as experiencing death. It is a pity that some countries consider such identity conflict a disease. Unfortunately, research on gender identity is relatively new to psychology, and scientific understanding of the phenomenon is in the initial phase. In 2010, France became the first country in the entire world to remove transgender identity from the list of mental diseases, but the entire world isn’t France. Is it?

So what does it make them then... criminals, untouchable or mentally sick? It’s not only government that isn’t recognizing them; society is enough to make them feel alienated. Sexual assault, including molestation, rape, and stripping is being committed with impunity and there are reliable statistics to support such activities. They are clearly not welcome at restaurants, cinemas, shops or malls. Since, there are no separate toilet facilities they have to use male/female toilets, prone to sexual assault and harassment. Further, non-recognition means discrimination in the field of employment, education and healthcare. You can't get hired for jobs that you are qualified, not because you are 6 feet tall, you have hands that can hold a basketball, but you wear heels and a flashy dress. Certainly, society is not capable enough to understand inner feelings of those whose mind and body disown their biological sex.

It’s impossible to have a heart aching conversation with someone and not taking a residue of that pain with you at home. Because Transgender individuals have experienced so much pain in their own lives, they are more giving, sympathetic, and the least judgmental people I've ever met.


Ritesh Sinha said...

Glad to hear someone is talking about the third gender. Though the country's law has given third gender legal rights but looking forward to their social acceptance & integration.

Anshul Singh said...

Thanks for appreciation. I hope things will soon change.

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