The Trans Bill extends to the whole of India, and it is causing confusion and fear among members of the trans community.
Despite protests and struggles of the community, TG Bill has become The Transgender Persons Protection Of Rights Act, 2019. The Act has many problems that remain the same. Chapter II of the Act-Prohibition Against Discrimination completely ignores the day to day harassment, that people of the Hijra community face. It also forgets to mention harassment by family members, gurus, and people close to trans persons, like spouses.
Chapter – III still has a controversial method to register themselves as transgender to a district magistrate. Transpersons need to get a “certificate” issued by the district magistrate. In the case of minors, it mentions that parents can apply for the same. It is not a hidden fact that most of the parents are not supportive of their children. And if any other gender does not need a certificate, then why does this special idea come for the trans community? There is no mention of documents required to provide to the magistrate, the procedure and eligibility to apply for a certificate either. The additional condition of updating the magistrate about the surgery is dehumanising.
Coming to Chapter-IV, welfare measures; there are no defined welfare measures guaranteed by the government. The Right to Education, Employment, Marriage Registration, etc., for trans community, seems an alien concept to them.
The draconian method of not separating trans children from their biological family is defined in the act. Creating a setback for social workers, and activists, who rescue trans, intersex and queer children from abusive parents. Forcing trans individuals to live with their parents is a huge loss for trans rights.
The establishment of the National Council for Transgender Persons lacks acknowledgement of the existence of gender-queer, gender non-binary, intersex persons. The eight-page long Act forgets to address basic issues of the working-class trans community and forgets to provide basic protection against sexual harassment to all trans individuals. As far as the ‘elite’ persons of the community are concerned, they are also being discriminated against, as the Act asks the entire community to provide evidence of their gender identity.
The Act is also a key player in the erasure of other varied identities which have different gender identifications and face discrimination.
The Bill forgets the following:
The Act was passed in a hurry and speaks volumes about the lack of concern when it comes to trans rights.