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

5 Things That Helped Me Come Out As Trans-Genderfluid

More from Cake

By Samantha Saxena:

Hi, my name is Samantha. I am from Lucknow and I’m currently practicing as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. Music, long drives, trips to the mountains or riverside, and hanging out with friends are some of my favourite things. Also, I dislike people being on time as I always get late!

I identify as a trans-genderfluid person. When I came out to my parents, to my sister, and to my friends, I decided to do it directly, just like that, in the middle of conversation. Not everyone took it in positive way. Some chose to stay neutral. Others distanced themselves from me, but I never looked back from that decision. And these are 5 things that helped me do it.

1: Yahoo User Rooms

Back in 2004 there used to be Yahoo user chat rooms and I usually explored all kinds of rooms to meet new people and get ideas about what is going on in the world, while sitting on my dial-up modem of 10 kbps speed. One day, I stumbled upon the room by the name ‘LGBT’ and I casually went in. People were welcoming and from there I got to know that my inclination towards feminine clothing is pretty normal, and I am not alone. I got to understand that I am a part of the umbrella term ‘Transgender’. I made many friends through that room, both local and foreign, and my second life started from there.

2: Dating Websites

During my college days, the only way for me to be out was through online portals where not everyone would know my identity and I could disclose everything about myself safely. For two or three years I met so many trans girls, cross-dressers, and admirers including straight men and women too (not for sex) and my second life started becoming my only life. I slowly got the space and courage to dress more feminine, and to be bolder.

Never could I have known how hard makeup is until I started doing it, and took a bow to women who could do it every day and looked glam while I continue to look like crap most of the time as my liner never stays straight (like myself).

Next, I started taking some bold pictures, not at all hiding myself and I started sending them to my group of admirers (yes, I have admirers, seriously!).

But one fine night – the Vodka or my feminist qualities, I don’t know which one to blame – my pictures were accidentally sent to my mom and the next day I was called back home. My mom did however accept me, but on a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ basis. I would not talk about it and she didn’t want to hear about it any further, though she still demands all of my pictures whenever I take them (curiosity, I think).

Image courtesy of Samantha Saxena

3: The Death Of A Dear Friend

My second life was a better one, but still I didn’t have any real friends in there and I could not just simply walk up to people and tell them what I am. For obvious reasons, I was under the impression that society won’t get it, and I would be laughed at. My ‘dual personality’ made it worse as what my femme personality decides, the male personality had to go against. But there was this friend who was so good to me that I felt quite comfortable in disclosing my ‘second identity’, and I did that on her birthday. It turned out that she was a lesbian, and she totally understood me. I was so relieved that not only was I out, but I now had a friend from the LGBT+ community too! She was out to her family, but they were not taking it too well. There were regular abuses from parents and brother, so one unfortunate night she decided to finally take off from this hell, and left me alone again. I still remember her last text: “This battle is lost”. I was shocked and inconsolable, and that was the moment I simply stop caring about people around me. That same year was the first time I walked in the Pride parade in Delhi, in a femme dress, out in the open and without a mask. That did disclose my identity to some of my friends who saw my pictures on some blogs. They cornered me and told me that I should see a doctor, or visit a counselor. I was slowly and steadily isolated, but it didn’t matter because I could now take pride in myself.

4: Begum Nawazish Ali

I got to know about her when she participated in Big Boss in 2010. I loved her confidence and how she carried herself. I felt proud of her. Though she is a cross-dresser, and does not consider herself trans, I got some courage from her to come out to my friends who did not know about me still. My courage stayed stable enough to walk into a hall full of my friends in a saree. I could see most of them laughing, but I couldn’t have cared less.

5: My Boyfriend

He came at the moment when I was almost or fully out to everyone who I consider worth knowing. This guy made me feel just as so many girls would feel having a boyfriend. All the dreams of getting married is what he gave me. We have been in a wonderful relationship for two years and our love hasn’t diminished one bit.

Featured image courtesy of Samantha Saxena.

You must be to comment.
  1. Deepika Tuli

    Samantha, I appreciate the openness and the way you are handling life. I am a trainer and an author and keep looking for people who are celebrate life out of all odds. I would like to get in touch with you to talk about a few things and to know more about your perspective to life, which could be inspirational to many. If you feel we can connect, please email me at Thanks! More power to you!

More from Cake

Similar Posts

By Aqsa Shaikh

By Suryatapa Mukherjee

By Ungender Legal Advisory

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