We as a society have always believed in the existence of only two genders. From a belief, it has morphed into such an adamant system, that today, anyone who identifies themselves as being outside the gender binary is discriminated against in unimaginable ways. The world’s justification for these acts is the labeling of these individuals as dangerous, which has essentially pushed them away from being included in the main narrative of the world. There is, thus, an urgent requirement of a revolution in the mindset of people. Given that the youth is the most impressionable section of the society, change can begin very easily with them.
When a bunch of youngsters were recently asked to state what they knew about the transgender community, the first response they gave was that they feared transgender individuals. Their opinions, they said, were a result of isolated negative interactions they have had with people from the community and the negative ideas that have been fed to them by their families. Also, very few students had any knowledge of the transgender community beyond their opinions. Some, although they showed interest in learning about the lives and problems of transgender individuals, stopped themselves from mingling with them because of the fear that inhibited their minds.
The same students, however, also criticised the government for only having reassured but not given the members of the community opportunities to get stable jobs or basic rights. They also brought up the issue of reservation for the transgender community existing only on paper and it not being properly functional. They felt strongly against families that abandoned their children on the grounds of them being transgender. Family support and opportunity to work, according to them, can change lives in this community because then they will not be forced to beg or resort to sex work to earn their living anymore.
The students also expressed that if this topic was dealt with in schools and colleges, there would be widespread understanding towards it. It is absolutely necessary to sensitise people regarding the lives and issues of transgender people to combat discrimination and bring in real equality. It is simply necessary to look at the community with humanity and mingle with them without holding back, and there is hope that in the future, equality will be achieved.
Written by Anagha Bharadwaj.