The dictionary defines transgender as a person whose identity or gender differs from the sex he or she is assigned at birth. Initially, people from the transgender community were denied social recognition. It was in the year 2014, transgenders were recognized as the third sex in the eyes of the law. However, the Nation Human Rights Commission’s studies show that the rights of transgenders are highly compromised. Their demands are not taken into account. They are in a sense of isolation, within households , communities and institutions, amid rampant social and gender discrimination.
• Transgenders suffer from identity crisis in a “gender-specific India”, where everything has a gender identification including public toilets, security check at airport, etc.
• Transgenders are deprived of the right to participate in any form of economical activities, with even qualified ones refused jobs.
• They are bullied by their classmates and even by teachers, a reason why they discontinue studies.
Transgenders are often exploited by rich men. They either beg for work or choose sex work. Transgenders are at times gang raped, but fear to approach the police. Some of them address themselves as male to avoid rapes. They do not expose their identity in order to be safe. They are consumed with fear and embarrassment.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
When we talk about transgenders as a community, it is very necessary to have a brief knowledge about their family and roots, they belong to. They have no family support and are abandoned when their characteristics and behavior don’t resemble with the sexual orientation they are assigned at birth. Some try to treat them with medicines. While others are subjected to extreme stress and pressure. There’s no legal support to a transgender for entering in to a marriage or for that matter having a spouse or a child. They are denied accommodation, both on rental or in a hotel.
People of any sexual orientation may face health problems but transgenders are at a greater risk of health problems because they are denied to access proper health care. Most of the qualified transgenders don’t get employment opportunities. They are deprived of setting up their own organization. The under privileged are compelled to engage in sex work which has high health related risks.
• Mental Health Issues – Gay, Lesbian and transgender people have multiple mental health problems as they strive to find a place in the society. They have a hard time in confronting their parents and friends. Loneliness or Isolation can trigger a lot of mental health issues.
• Substance Abuse – Transgenders become addicts. They often abuse substances like tobacco, alcohol and some illegal drugs. This may be partly because of the struggle for acceptance.
• Sexually Transmitted Infections– Unprotected sex can lead to severe reproductive problems in transgender females. Practicing safe sex can limit the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
• Here’s her story of pride and prejudice. A transgender activist , Long recognized as a prominent figure of the LGBTQ community, Miss Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi , is the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN in 2008. She was the first transgender to file a petition demanding social recognition among the LGBTQ community. She will always be remembered as the epitome of bravery and courage.
Every individual irrespective of the sexual orientation shall be guaranteed equal opportunities to sustain. It should be an individual’s right to choose his or her gender.