A Wise Step towards Equality| Srestha Nandy

“Stop being

Who you were and,

Become who you are.”


These words of our famous author empathically take the stand for the special section of the society, who have been struggling in every aspect of their life since birth only just to get respect and to trying hard not to be the victim of discrimination, stigma, and violence. And all this is only for having some difference biologically in their bodily structure. These human beings are nobody but transgender people. When a human baby opens one’s eyes and from there the journey begins. Eventually when the baby grows and starts exploring, out of box stuff happens in society. . Teenage is such an age where the child starts exploring. Exploring in every possible manner. In this journey, the child attains puberty. But being a part of this expansive society, teens somehow adopt a habit to get fit with their peers, and from here the issues get aroused.

We are in the 21st century, and in our reality, even with the support of science, we all know that human beings are not only divided into male and female. So here comes the concept of LGBTQ+. In the context of the previous paragraph, it is natural for the developing child to realize one’s sexuality which may not be male or female, but the other.

According to the survey of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Networks, approximately, 90% of the gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual middle and high school students report being physically or verbally harassed in 2009.

But the official change is also here where the in January 2018 during the trial of the case Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India, Supreme Court declared Section 377 of Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional before the previous context which stated that “consensual homosexual sex between the adults were unconstitutional, irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” Yet still, this agenda is having issues in our society and especially at the psychological level of the people. So about the first sentence at the beginning of this write-up, parents are the ones whose initiative toward this issue will bring a lot of change, not only parents but every adult influence a child in their surroundings.

Proceeding with the legal support on this arena it was reported that on 17th December 2018 the Lok Sabha passed an amended Transgender Persons (Protection and Rights) Bill,2016 that defines transgenders and prohibits discrimination against them. In May 2018, The Central Board of Direct Taxes reportedly issued an advisory on 10th April change to the income tax rules providing for three checkboxes on the Permanent Account Number (PAN) application form – for male, female, and transgender. There is no requirement of depositing any supporting document. On 22 April 2019, Justice GR Swaminathan in the Madras High Court held that the term ‘bride’ as per the Hindu Marriage Act would also mean a transsexual, and not just refer to someone born as a woman. The court also ordered the State Government to issue a Government order banning sex reassignment surgeries on intersex infants and children. Also, there are updates like, in Ludhiana, the Government has taken the initiative to built up toilets for the third gender and those washrooms will be strictly reserved for transgender people. The words of Rajinder Singh, operation and maintenance cell superintending engineer included “We have created space in public toilets for the third gender and only they will be allowed to use it. This has been done to end the taboo around transgender people. It will give a sense of equality to them.” Also, it has happened that in the state of Kerela, a petition was filed where the selection of NCC (National Cadet Corps Act 1948) did not include the transgender candidate. To this, Justice Devan Ramachandran said “ The world has progressed, you cannot remain in the 19th century.” And finally, it was held with the concluding lines of the court “There certainly are three gender male, female and transgender.”

Despite such efforts, the changes are visible on the papers or in written documents only.

From the words of Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a human rights activist, in most of her interviews, she mentioned the question “WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE DIFFERENT?” is being asked to the person who is not a male or female by society.

Here I am just questioning the society, that from the earlier times when there was a news that we have got a child who is neither a girl nor a boy, you people start making up new assumptions and treat that being differently. Even there were cases like this where the innocent child has been thrown out from the house so as the family could please the society and be abided by their expectations. And to these circumstances, the child is left with no other option other than begging or selling their body for the source of earning, because the society would never consider them as humans also did not provide them jobs. After surviving in such an environment it is nothing unusual that a child who has become an adult now would have a perception that “NOBODY LOVES ME.”

To this point who is making the difference? Creating a whole different environment and then asking that innocent being, isn’t it something that one is forced to accept that one is different by doing or having nothing different in real.

NO, they are normal as the other man and women. They are also human beings, with similar organs and systems that are included in the bodily structure of a man and a woman. The only biological difference in their genital parts does not give the right to the other humans to treat them separately. This is as normal as having curly hair and straight hair. The designing of the bodily feature can be different. We can accept those people who write with their left hand, while the majority is right-handed then why there is a but in accepting these people. Similarly here also the whole stuff is the same. It's just a matter of majority.

Talking about culture, their people who say that these are the effect of western culture. But they forgot that from the British Raj itself, the rules were made like this, for example in case of hereditary the succession are made like from father to son, there is no space for transgender. So here in the 21st century how can a 65-year-old uncle or aunty speak like this that nowadays, this generation is getting influenced by western?

To this point talking about culture, our India was a world where all manifestations of the divine, are said to exist, there was space not only for men and women but also for men with a women’s heart and a woman with a man’s needs. Ancient India's lives dividing male from female and heterosexual from homosexual were blurred. These were told without guilt and shame and were not uncommon by any means. The Hindu view of the world has always been friendly towards different ways of being and seeing. Masculinity and feminity are just labels that are applied to bodies being occupied by eternal souls. Even our mythological stories include such instances where Narad falling into a pond and emerging from it as a woman and this was how he discovered the meaning of Maya. Also, Shiva bathing in the Yamuna to become a woman and dance with Krishna.

So this agenda is nothing new, so many things happened till now. But the complete change will be felt if the wiser step towards understanding and equality is taken. If this starts from a very minor level, for say just accept the friend who is transgender and do not consider him different from other, just accept the transgender person in the society and give respect just like the other elders. And for now, this will be enough, the change in you will bring change in others’ vision and at that moment, it will be felt, somebody will feel good, somebody will receive their deserved dignity. Also today everybody has got the right to raise the voice, so just use any medium to share your opinions. Our legal system is also working in favour of these issues. Now a day anybody just cannot be released once they are caught suspicious a proper and thorough investigation proceeds in all the cases. So in this matter when once one is discriminating the other innocent being also infringing their rights are questioned. They are asked to get a justified reason behind their acts. So taking this whole agenda lightly can create trouble for the concerned being. Now, this thing has the whole national support so nobody can imagine how far a matter can go. Today we have so many support systems with updated mindsets that your narrow mind will be crushed only due to some lack of values. And also giving someone respect, treating someone with dignity accepting someone as they are, does not costs anything, instead, it makes you a better person. So, it’s high time to make a change and to take the initiative to have a strong impact on our society for a better tomorrow. With the words of Swami Vivekananda, “Believe in yourself and the world will be at your feet.” Concluding this article, I wish more power to all those who are still trying to come out, you have our support, we believe in you, and we accept you.

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