Mounada Mathu : A special series on Stigma & Discrimination against LGBT communities- Episode 2

Pavitra’s Story

Pavitra is from Mysore and has a family of 6

“From the age of 10, I used to help my mom in cleaning and household chores. I wanted to wear girl’s clothes and I used to try it whenever my sister was not around. After 7th, my desires grew. My teachers always asked me to behave myself, and they also gave all the girl’s parts in school plays and dances. All the boys made fun of me and called me names. I was curious to meet members of my community and I first met them in a park. She told me about her experiences and asked me to join her. But I refused because I did not want to leave home. My mother was my biggest support and tried to  make me understand. My father and brother were strictly against it. I finally joined the community, changed my dressing and started sex work. When we went for collection in a bazaar, some boys used to tease us, throw tomatoes on our backs and try to make fun of us. Once, some journalists came to us and promising us voter IDs took our photos and details but published us in a very negative way. All the neighbours tried to attack us. Another time, the police caught all of us, took us to a station and filed false cases on us and put us in jail for 10-15 days. While doing sex work,  we have a problem with gundas, who promise us money take us to parks and call all their friends for free sex, otherwise they have sex with us and then make a scene saying that we’ve robbed money and call the police. Even the police behave very badly with us, by asking very inhumane questions and even force us to have sex with them. We never get agreements from owners and the neighbors also oppose it. In buses, we are often subjected to a lot of murmurs, whispers and bad treatment. Auto drivers charge double, and we never get bank accounts. Even in temples, the people look at us weirdly and never let us share our troubles with God. In hospitals, we are made to stand in the queue for a long time and some have even refused to touch us and treat.  We demand that the government give us jobs, recognition and houses to live in.  We also need a place to live after we are aged and cannot work. They should also ensure that people who trouble us should be punished.”

Transcribed by Ashwini Raj



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