As told to Tinder by Taksh Sharma:
I identify as a trans woman and have been actively pursuing transition since I was 21, I am now 23. I first came out publicly when I was 21, started hormones and within a year underwent surgery. The last year has been about recovering from my surgery.
Growing up, I was always effeminate. Even when I was a ‘gay boy’ a major part of me was acutely aware I wasn’t like other boys. It was never a question of trying to figure myself out, but more about trying to decide a good time to let everyone know this went deeper than my sexuality. When you’ve lived your life holding onto something so big, it starts to weigh on you heavily. By not transitioning I was negatively affecting everything else in my life.
At this point in time, I was studying in Mumbai. I went from being a really bright student to spiralling into depression. I found myself back in Delhi for a short break during college with no agenda to have this discussion with my parents. My family was always receptive, and we had had many open discussions about gender expression. This time it was different, there was a deeper aspect, I wanted to transition and I want to be seen and feel like a woman because that is how I see myself. When I first came out as gay, they were okay with it but the bone of contention always remained, “why are you so effeminate?” When I finally came out as trans I think it was easier for them to contextualize me. Everything made more sense.
It’s been a loving, supportive and accepting journey across the board. Both my parents and team of doctors have been nothing short of completely unwavering with their support. I realised it was always about how to point them in the right direction; everyone has just grown with me in this new identity.
A safe space for gender expression is very important. I’ve done extensive studies about how gender is basically a sum of how you feel and what your physical characteristics are. Your physical characteristics is your gender expression and your gender is what you know yourself to be. Sex is defined by genitalia, but gender identity is so personal. People sometimes respond in the most juvenile ways to identity, I haven’t made this up, this is who I am. If you did some research you’d know these identities have always existed. For us in India Hijras have a long standing place in our history and culture, for America its two spirit people, the Egyptians had eunuchs, so why are we collectively behaving as though this is new nomenclature.
I’ve had some pretty cool experiences on Tinder after transitioning and using it as a woman. I am very upfront and am only really looking for people who are like minded, sensible and don’t treat me like the conductor of impromptu gender studies classes. I’m here to date, and I’m not afraid to be who I am.