Who is a Transgender ? What does their world look like ? What are the challenges they face in society ? What is our world view of transgenders ? What can we do ? How can I make a difference ?. These are some of the questions which came to my mind when a friend asked me to join a webinar series called “Transis “
Today after attending 16 webinars I should confess that I realise how little I know of this genre called “transgenders”. Every webinar opened my eyes to their world. Every session I attended I realised how little we know about those sections of society who are disadvantaged in more ways than one.
I am neither competent to write on this topic nor will attempt to be an expert. But my ignorance inspired me to write about how little I know and what difference we can make as individuals in society. Most of us think, what can I do to transform society.
It is like that famous story of the star fish and the small kid on the sea shore. If each of us can throw back at least one star fish pushed to the sand by the waves, we can save the life of that star fish. Similarly if each of us can help understand one transgender person and enable them to integrate into the mainstream of society in whatever way we can make a positive difference to their lives.
I realised how difficult the world of a transgender is when I listened to their stories. A person is not born as a transgender by their choice. They are born into a family by nature’s ordain. Most families consider it a curse that a child of this nature is born into their family. So the challenge for this category of people starts from the day of their birth on this earth.
Imagine a child who is born into a family for no fault of theirs is discriminated and cursed for no fault of theirs. Many a time the child is thrown out of their home or discarded even before they become an adult. A child is born as a male in a female body or a female in a male body. They do not have a choice to live the way they want. Neither the family nor the community around them or the society at large supports them in any way.
I should admit that till today I thought that women, differently abled, minorities etc. were the disadvantaged sections of society. Today I realised that the transgender community have much bigger challenges to face not only to live but survive in a society, which has repeatedly failed to understand them and their issues. We have not only failed to understand them but also have not yet even imagined to create an eco system for their fair living.
If we take a peek into their world, we may realise that their challenges starts at their birth and possibly does not even end at their death. They are rejected by their own family leave alone the community around them. Societies and nations have not formulated adequate policies to enable them to lead a decent living. They find it difficult to get admission to educational institutions, employment opportunities almost do not exist and they do not even have a choice to live a life of dignity of their own choice like you and me.
I hope this blog has opened more eyes than one and each of us commit to change their world by impacting the life of one person at a time. Lets resolve to do whatever we can in our own personal capacity without waiting for the United Nations to write a charter for them.
Lets begin today.
S Ramesh Shankar
9th Oct 2020