This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Mahitha Kasireddi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Male, Female, Transgender? How Does One’s Sexuality Determine Happiness And Success In Life?

More from Mahitha Kasireddi

By Mahitha Kasireddi:

The first question we usually ask new parents is: “Is it a boy or a girl?” There is a great answer to that one going around: “We don’t know; it hasn’t told us yet.”’ – Kate Bornstein, 1995

Identity is one prerequisite because of which you could belong to a society or you could be ostracized. One’s life could be just thrown into darkness for not possessing definite attributes distinct enough to categorize. One such form of identity is Gender.

What are all the myths we carry about the transgender? They live crazy lives, they are confused, they do not know their gender, they hate their bodies, they are gay, they are mentally disturbed, they are radical liberals, they perform drag shows and so on. Reality is that they live quite normally as anyone else would. Well, it is not totally our fault to believe in dogmas; we were conditioned in such a way. Lack of scientific information is also a reason. Transsexual children start identifying their sexuality at quite an early age. They start feeling uncomfortable in their bodies. A boy may like to dress like a girl and play with dolls and a girl may want to look like a boy. Gender identity is what one feels from inside and sexual orientation is to whom one is attracted to. Transsexual persons may not necessarily be gay; they may turn out to be lesbian, gay or bisexual later.


Countries and governments are unable to rise above their stereotypes about gender. Such rigid opinions lead to marginalization of a few who are 1 in 1000. Apparently, 1 in 1000 is being deprived of the right to live the way they like just for who they are. It is the orientation of the brain with which they recognise themselves as either man or woman. Calling this abnormal and telling them they are wrong is just absurd. It is nature induced. No medical treatment, therapy or surgery can alter someone’s biological lineament.

Families undergo an odyssey when their children tend to reject the sex they have been assigned based on genitals. Eventually, they give up to the societal norms and abandon them. Today, they all live in communities, transgender women and men all live like a family. They live their real selves away from family and the society in which they were brought up. But, it is an everyday ordeal for them to stand rejection where ever they go.

They have no resources to sustain their lives as nobody treats them like fellow human beings and vehemently refuse to employ them. A high percentage of population in our country do not have any social security, above all ‘hijras’ (Transgender) stand the most marginalized in every society, suffer grave abuse of human rights and vulnerable to violence and sexual abuse. They have similar dreams like everyone, a good education, a lucrative job and career and a family. They are rightfully entitled to live a respectable life. Most of the time they are forced either to beg or get into demeaning jobs like sex work to make their ends meet.

There are yet a number of success stories. Kalki from Chennai, a transgender woman reveals how she had managed to complete her education despite all odds thrown out by parents and society. Away from home she was subjected to sexual and verbal abuse multiple times. Like all transgender children she was judged and insulted at the schools and colleges where she studied. She completed her B.A. in English followed by an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication. Presently, she is pursuing her second M.A. in International Relations. Kalki stands out as an inspiration to many others discriminated.

A ray of hope had emerged out when the chief secretary of Maharashtra held talks on improving social conditions of sex workers, transgender and MSM people. He asked the officials to expedite the process of issuing identification cards such as voter ids, ration cards and Aadhar cards. Tamil Nadu on the other hand has recognised them as ‘third sex’. A transgender welfare board was formed in 2008. They are now entitled to all government services equally with all. They are being readily incorporated to mainstream media and film industry. A local Tamil TV channel has broken all taboos with their talk show being hosted by a trans woman called Rose.

Despite all efforts they are still dubbed as a minority and not accepted in social circles. Recently a transgender woman, Swapna from Madurai had appealed to the government through an RTI to open the prestigious Civil Services exam to the third sex. How does sexuality measure somebody’s calibre to be a good administrator? Hopefully the government should treat them equally in order to help many such aspirants to realize their dreams. The feminists of our country have an extended responsibility to put the transgender women in mainstream society by fight for their right to dignity and advocating their personal freedom. The public needs to be educated about the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, encouraged to leave behind dogmas, accept all kinds of sexualities and respect their rights. This would solve all issues surrounding the transgender, only then we will be a successful democracy.

You must be to comment.
  1. Aniket Kundu

    wow…what a beautiful piece written in a simple clear cut way…I am reading it again and again and again…so much simple concept that live and let live..I dream of such a society where everybody will live happily ever after…..Thank you for this wonderful story.. You made the Sunday very special…

  2. mahitha

    Hey thank you, am glad you like it 🙂

  3. Raj

    Nice article!

  4. Madhuri

    excellent article..:)

More from Mahitha Kasireddi

Similar Posts

By Vaishnavi Gond

By You're Wonderful Project;

By The Bleed Eco Project

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below