THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY IN INDIA
Updated: Jul 15
The word transgender has become an umbrella term that is used to describe a wide range of identities. Transgender encompasses anyone whose identity falls outside the stereotypical gender norms. Transgender people are those people of any age or sex whose appearance, personal characteristics, and behavior differs from how they are supposed to be.
We have been taught since our childhood that there are only two genders in the world and anything beyond is considered abnormal. It is so profoundly engraved in the mindset of people that we are not prepared to think otherwise. Transgender people face a staggering level of discrimination and violence throughout their lives. They have been subject to rejection and mockery on a daily basis. The transgender community, in particular, is the most marginalized community in Indian society and also across the globe. They have been the substance of social exclusion and rejection. We keep on neglecting them at every step of development.
The transgender community has been struggling for so long to gain an equal amount of status in the society, to be able to live in a space where they don’t have to conceal their identity in order to survive. They have never been accepted by the society as their own and are forced to live in a world where they are not even considered or treated as a human. They are not supposed to have their own identity and are not subjected to form their own opinion.
This community globally faces plenty of difficulties and obstacles. They are being kept away even from their basic rights and opportunities. Transgender community in particular have been accustomed to gender-based violence and form the majority number of violence-based cases in India. Many transgender has been harassed on a day to day basis. Majority of the transgender are forced to live in poverty because of their lack of education and subsequently have to face mistreatment and discrimination at every level. They are practically left with no alternative but to commit suicide.
Many transgender women, particularly transgender women of color, face a shockingly high rates of murder, harassment, homelessness and incarceration. They are being forced to engage in prostitution in order to obtain a meal or two. Most of the people from this community see begging as the only source of income.
The government on the other hand offers no legal protection in medical facilities, educational opportunities, employment, housing or even basic fundamental rights being a citizen of a country.
The Indian government considers sex of only two types and therefore, do not include transgender while formulating any agenda or policies benefiting the people.
The transgender laws in India are nothing but a mere piece of legislation with no stern implementation and proper execution. The laws for the transgender community are not stringent in nature and hence, the situation of this community keeps on deteriorating. The government is not paying attention to the needs and demands of the transgender community, leaving them even more miserable.
In order to make the transgender community more inclusive in the society we need to accept them as who they are. We need to normalize things around them and should stop treating them differently and accept them as a part of our community. The government should take various steps and measures for the welfare of the transgender community and should accord them all the opportunities they were being deprived for so long. The government should take different initiatives in order to improve the lives of people who belong to the transgender communities. We need more stringent and rigorous laws for the protection of the transgender community to ensure that no transgender would go through psychological pain and trauma. We all collectively have to make our society a safe space for them to live in and to function freely and independently.
By Aditi Mudgal
Amity Law School Noida