Transgender – An Awareness Drive

· General


As a woman i get very agitated when i hear, see or read about violence against women, and the oppression women face every day (- that is women against men , with society trying to be as understanding and supportive of the issue by and large…!!)

Can u imagine how MUCH WORSE it must be for TRANSGENDERS who have NO one to support them ?… only to be made use of by men …and scorned at by society… MOSTLY deprived even of family support because they don’t know how to express what they are going through. They feel all trapped in the ‘wrong body’ … When everyone around them (and society !!) demands that they behave, think and speak like a boy , they are not comfortable even to use the ‘boy’s loo’ in schools and tend to go only after the boys have left !! ….At home, parents abuse the authority they have and sometimes even hurt them for being ‘feminine’ … So they run away from homes into the only family that will shelter them – ‘their community’………..they are children too……adolescent and confused and scared……… 

I have always been scared OF them …. Invariably i have always been ‘troubled’ BY  them ….Be it on the streets of the city or when waiting in the car, they invariably ‘target’ me. Their begging is very forceful ; and the personal touch, i used to find very repulsive coz of all the images that i had formed about them as sex workers and beggars…… fit for no other work. just begging !!! 

My recent interactions with them, through ANEW, has opened my eyes about who they are and how they came to be… Now i am scared FOR them and troubled AT  what they have to go through….society doesn’t do anything to include them , be it in our schools or in the work force. How then can we expect them to survive and live a life of respect ?? WE are responsible for them begging on the roads. WE have failed to be sensitive to their needs. 
In their own words –

  1. ‘ Those of us who have had some kind of family acceptance and support are not on the roads.’ – a transgender whose mother accepted the change when she knew her ‘son’ had attempted suicide twice …

  2. ‘How can we call ourselves women ? We want to be known as TransWomen (“and not woman, though i have undergone the sex change” ) for no one else will fight the cause for us’ – a social worker working on getting a change in the legislation due in 2020
  3. ‘ I will be happy if i can bring about a change in the life of at least one of my kind’ – a social worker who leads a dual life, coz her ‘family will die’ if they know she is not a ‘he’
  4. ‘We need, not just a gender recognition, but a society that is sensitive to our needs, like how ramps are provided for the physically handicapped ans scribes for the visually challenged’ 
  5. ‘I want to be the queen, not the security person’ – when we in our ignorance said they had better respect in yesteryears as security workers to the queen’s chamber !!

Truly an eyeopening experience. They are not just under-privileged or less-privileged  ….they are  ‘NO PRIVILEGED’ . 

At a recent ‘Transgender Achievers’ awards function conducted by them (to which ANEW was invited) we realized that those who had got some support from family or society had gone on to become achievers in their own right – many were social workers striving for their own cause (one running a home for HIV+ children)…. a model, an artist, a pastor….  dancers, chefs,  ….the list was long………for they are mortals like us too !!!!

With an aware and sensitive society , i hope some day they will truly become QUEENS
The choice should be their’s … the sky should be the limit even for them !!!!!

Ms.Sumalini Shrikumar

Management Committee


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