Season 3 of Yarivaru with RJ Priyanka is focusing on the lives and triumphs of transgender persons who have persevered and are today working ‘mainstream’ jobs. In this episode, Tasvi, originally from Mumbai and a resident of Karnataka for the past 12 years, speaks about her journey and her work at ANZ Bank.
“My family refused to accept me,” she begins. “I consider my transgender community as my family and I find all my happiness in it. My life motto is simple – when you give love and respect, you receive the same.” Tasvi’s journey of gender identity began early. “I knew that I was a woman from a very young age. Right from my childhood, I wanted to be not a transgender, I wanted to be a woman.” Schooling was tough because she faced verbal harassment from the teachers as well as the other students. “Today, I feel overwhelmed because I am continuing my studies.” She is studying to complete her bachelor’s degree.
Tasvi has worked as a receptionist at the Sri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Center. In 2012, she worked in an organisation called Payana to raise awareness about HIV in her community. In 2018, she joined an organisation called Samara and worked on HIV prevention in the community. Then she came to know about Solidarity Foundation and Perryferry, two organisations which help create opportunities for the community at mainstream companies. They conduct training sessions on office behaviour, office ethics, office structure, and more. “I got an opportunity through these two organisations to go and change the perspectives within my community. I feel so comfortable working where I do because no one treats me as a ‘community’ but treats me as a human being. In the end, I want to say thank you to all the haters because from them, I got to know my potential!”.
Tasvi wants to change the gender stereotypes people harbour. She has seen very talented people from her community who, if given an opportunity, can work magic. “What society thinks doesn’t matter here. I am proud of myself because I have accepted myself as I am. I am very proud that I have moved from begging on the roadside to handling transactions of 22 countries at an MNC. I attended close to 200 interviews and failed before getting here. I have one question to ask every company – how is my gender identity related to my job profile?”