‘Run, will you run? Don’t stand there to let them grab you and make a fool of yourself’ those were the remarks by my school mates. It was at a very early stage when I first encountered them...
I’m talking about them, you know, “Them”..? Some weird social foundation has been set that forbids to pronounce their name out loud which always left me with questions. People always laugh about them, tease them, hate them or despise them for being in the society. I never understood why society was so intolerant towards them.
Yes, I’m talking about Transgender people or locally known as Hijra, lady boy! Social outcasts, forbidden in secular society and labelled a separate breed of human, fed by utter hatemongering! Even so, one of them became a hero !
Humans as a species, refrain from accepting anything or anyone outside their comfort zone; foreign to what they define as ‘Normal’. We tend to stick to the obvious and don’t voice out our opinions even if we do not agree with the majority!
Like transvestites, lesbians, gays, etc, hijras are another entity that are condoned by most. And as such they live a half-life without acceptance and without self-respect. Hijras are treated as objects of ridicule or sometimes looked at with fear.
They usually earn a living by performing in auspicious occasions at people’s houses. in some parts of the country they work as pimps. Also, prostitution among trans has been on rise. Death also proves to be a difficult situation in the trans community, as up till now they haven’t been given any proper burial rights. As they did not belong to either male or female gender, burial ceremony becomes cumbersome!
But recently a groundbreaking decision was made in this regard; cabinet passed a law declaring them as a separate gender. And now they have the full right to obtain a passport, they can vote, receive education, get a regular job and such.
I was never scared of them as a kid, despite of their strange outlooks and approach. I wanted to know the What & Why. But I had to swallow the curiosity as a young boy; as no one could give an explanation to my questions. Or was I too young to understand the gender differences…? I don’t think I was.
A couple of days ago I read an exceptional blog, which made me put my thoughts into words! Not only did it encourage me to write about the cast aside but it also raised my spirit on this particular topic. A theme like this one has to come out more often. As an underdog blogger like myself, I believe we ought to exercise on this moot point.
It’s worth mentioning that over here in Thailand, there is a completely different outlook on the Trans community. They are locally know as lady boy and have very different stories! Thailand is paradise for them as they’re more accepted than anywhere else and can get a job quite easily. Apparently parents feel lucky to have lady boy in their family. Its very much commercialized as they play a big role in sex tourism. The beginning of Lady boy culture goes back as far as the Vietnam war!
But I always wonder about why and how they become trans. Are they born like that or what..? How do they cope when they discover their true self? Subsequently the ‘Growing up trans’ blog opened an entire different sight!
I have been introduced with Kyle, John and Ariel. After a good few read of the blog and the watchful documentary ‘Growing up trans’, I find myself in deep thoughts. There is a lot of confusion centering the term “trans” itself. While some are born this way, others (who may be impotent) emasculate themselves! Meaning they cut off their genitals or grow through a surgery/ceremony, which according to them emancipates them.
But back home, where modern therapy or counseling are not available and parents may not be aware of their kid’s situation, what happens there?? What if they are middle class or poor family?
In most cases, they are sent away from their homes right after birth, and receive no formal education. As such, they earn a living by harassing people in various ways and collecting money from them. Then we complain about the rough behavior of ‘trans’ and their constant pestering.Do we take notice at all of the hardships they go through in their lifetime? Can we begin to understand what life must be like for them?
If not properly educated, how can we expect them to earn a decent income any other way? Have we ever offered them jobs or made any other effort to help them? This group is one that is rejected firstly by their parents who give birth to them, and then by the entire society!!
And speaking of Kyle, John and Ariel; at least they were born in a society where they will be treated with some degree of care and understating. Although they also had to go through rough stage of depression and bullying! Is it true that Chemical/Hormonal, Genetic and Environmental reasons are the main factor behind a Trans birth? I understand that they find themselves different than their own self in their puberty stage. But isn’t it way too early to go through all those hormone replacement therapy? Is that too much to wait few more years before the final decision/ operation/therapy?
Do pharmaceutical companies play any role on hormone replacement therapy? Is this becoming a money making business too ? I really wonder about the rates of this phenomenon. Did we have these issues back in the previous centuries and how do they compare to the rates in recent times? Or is this a modern day disease? I don’t mean disease like a virus or a bacteria but I mean a state that causes sufferings for kids.
Kids are the future of the nation. Growing up should be a fun adventure, flowing into a different vibe in puberty. A big thumbs up to those great parents who stand by their kids in their very difficult journey! My thoughts are with the younger generation, grow well! At the end of the day, we all are human and we all deserve some basic respect and decency.
(to be continued)