The Third Gender

 

Shirin Bhasin has recently completed her graduation in B. Sc. (Hons.) Physics from University of Delhi in 2016. She enjoys spending time with friends and reading novels by Nicholas Sparks. As a girl living in Delhi, she strongly believes that women in India should not be withheld from their goals and dreams – professional or personal – just because of their gender. By joining Safecity, Shirin is trying to help make a difference for those girls and women out there who need the motivation to believe in themselves, before they believe in others.

The Third Gender

Imagine a 14-year-old boy who, on the verge of discovering himself, slowly starts to take interest in things that girls his age do. He enjoys dressing up and making jewellery out of the DIY (Do It Yourself) kits available in the toy store around the corner of his house. What is the first reaction of a parent? Maybe he is in the wrong friend group and he does not spend as much time with boys. But, what if he is a transgender? What if he really is a girl trapped inside of a boy’s body?

There are many stories of people from the LGBT community where members of the community are not accepted into society because of their sexual orientation or if they identify with another gender. Some of the most bizarre reasons heard are that it is “unnatural” or that the parents did something wrong while raising the child. What people tend to forget is that it is in fact because of natural processes that someone turns out in such a way, and that it’s not anyone’s fault. The faster we accept the fact that no one chooses to have a different gender identity than what is considered to be normal and that it is merely how the genes rearranged themselves before the baby was born. Is that really someone’s fault? Is that really unnatural? Here is a link that explains the true cause of one being transgender.

There are many problems that transgenders face in a country like India. They are often disowned from families, not allowed the equality they deserve, and are often physically and verbally abused. This, in return, forces them into begging or prostitution in order to make a living, which is clearly unacceptable for any human being. But, my aim is to make people go beyond sympathising for a transgender and make an effort to create a normal atmosphere for them, such that they are not punished for how nature decided they should be.

This is a battle that transgender people have been fighting for a while and may have to fight for some years to come but there are a few things they can try to make things better. For starters, coming out to their family and friends is important. At times, someone whom you least expect it from could hold your hand to help you make it through. If not, and one has no where else to go, here are a few NGOs one could approach for proper guidance:

It is important to note that the in 2014 the Supreme Court of India passed a judgement accepting transgenders as the third category of gender allowing them education and employment reservations as OBCs stressing on the fact that they are a part of society and shouldn’t be excluded. You can also read up on this law here.

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 was a proposed Act of the Parliament of India which seeked to end the discrimination faced by transgender people in India. The Bill was passed by the Upper House-Rajya Sabha on 24 April 2015t. In 2016 the Transgender Rights Bill was discussed in the Lower House- Lok Sabha where they tried to define what a transgender is, questioned the reservations discussed in the previous Bill and have not addressed issues put forward by the community.

Clearly, this is a battle that is hard to fight especially for those who are targeted by the way of nature. But, we can do our bit to try to create awareness, accept them and include them in daily life and the opportunities it offers.

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