“I look in the mirror
but It’s not me
I look at the person that they can’t see
The church says no
you can’t be Adam nor eve”
Transgenders have been recoginised for the first time by the government of India in the census 2011.This is a giant leap forward for the community which till now remained faceless and ignored in the society by large. Transgender is an umbrella term used to refer to individuals whose expression of gender identity deviates from their corresponding gender at birth.
Years of struggle and activism by various organisations like Naz Foundation and others has finally yielded positive results. Creation of the third category ‘Others’ besides male and female in the census process has many positive implications. It will go a long way in the empowerment of the shunned community and will give them a life with dignity and identity. Most importantly, government will have the exact count of the community which for long had been left to perish.It will also shield them against harrassment and social stigma.
But the bigger challenge is to ensure that maximum number of transgenders are being registered. I think that government should follow the model of Tamil Nadu,which has some of the most progressive measures for the transgender community in the country.The Tamil Nadu High Court has ordered the government to ensure wide publicity through electronic and print media that transgenders are entitled to get registered in electoral rolls and the education department has created a third category for admission in educational institutions.The government has also provided for small loans and training for transgender self-help groups.
Governments move has set a truly “queer” precedent but its just the beginning a lot needs to be done before we can claim to give due recognition to the people who are not in conformity with the so called ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ gender roles.