In this episode, RJ Priyanka speaks with Parichaya Gowda, who works at Vidhana Soudha as an attender. Originally from Mysore, she came to Bengaluru 15 years ago. Anticipating familial and social pressures, Parichaya remained afraid to come out, in spite of not identifying as a male person. Until the shift to Bengaluru, she harboured intense fears of rejection. Being exposed to the transgender community in the city transformed her fear into hope. She realised for the first time that persons like her could also lead a life of dignity and normalcy.
But the personal battle was far from over. She faced objections from her family when they came to know about her decision to transition. But she remained steadfast. Parichaya had her SRS and formally joined the transgender community. But getting a job proved to be futile and she had to fall back on sex work and begging to earn a living. Later, a person from her community decided to help her get a job at the Vidhana Soudha.
The initial days at this job were uncomfortable. A few people in the building, including the security personnel at the Vidhana Soudha, looked at her weirdly, but her co-staff never treated her differently. They always looked at her with respect. Even the media took notice of her ascent and many outlets interviewed her.
“Before I entered this ‘mainstream’ job, I struggled a lot. I was denied so many opportunities. People used to scold me, the way they used to look at me was very hurtful, and I had had no livelihood options other than begging and sex work. But now, people respect me and recognise me. Even Jayamala, the actor and politician, respects me. I hope more members of my community are able to join mainstream jobs and work respectfully, and forge their own identities in the society.”
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