The Deserving Disregards of the Society

With half a million population, the transgenders are the most ill represented part of our societies. Abused and bullied socially with no fault of their own. The left outs of the society whom no one, including their own family members disown with their birth. So, let us dive in to see some realities about those who have not even found their voices in this tech era. Hindu texts are filled with situations from all around our lives, education, marriage, discrimination, infidelity, honour and so on. All these are not just stories but are meant to teach us a thing or too. So, what does the inclusion of Shikhandi (a transgender character from The Mahabharata), teach us? Inclusion, societal awareness centuries ago or just a mere character to meet the needs of the author? Article 15 of our constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but does that end the discrimination? While talking about social issues, there are more questions than there are answers, so what should be our perspective towards social taboos, ignore and move ahead or discuss and tackle? If we ask anyone, the most possible answer is the latter one. So, let’s discuss Transgender discrimination. This era of educated and more informed people are more divided. We separate ourselves from those against us and feel targeted, but that does not end the misery in the lives of the discriminated. Our preferences cause harm to those who try to assimilate but are unable to because of things which one cannot control.

These discriminations, consciously or not, tend to have greater impacts on the person being questioned. This duress causes severe mental and at times physical health issues. In a research led by NCBI (USA) they found High transgender-based discrimination was significantly associated with greater odds of PTSD, depression and stress related to suicidal thoughts. These are similar to those being racially harassed or discriminated. The prejudice in the society’s mind to the different is ominous and could only be changed through more engagements as such, reading and writing about their feelings, insecurities, problems in more public spaces. Our reservations to indulge in a well-mannered discussion has stopped the wheel of progress and we are not ready to move ahead. Discrimination doesn’t always come from hatred; it may be due to lack of understanding about the third gender.

Lack of knowledge and acceptance is the major cause of the distance being caused between people with different sexuality. Imagining life for those who are discriminated with no fault of their own and then reading in books about how all creatures are gifts of God cannot be described easily until similar situation hit us. These citizens are the most harassed amongst all around the world, still no government until recent times has given them special protection provisions to meet their satisfaction. The accounted charge sheets are so few that we can’t we find a proper database in the police stations. But opposite to that, the crimes against transgenders are even more so heinous that one can imagine. Hatred in public places, name-calling, physical assault, poverty, no legal support, FIRs not being filed by the police stations, identity issues and the list goes on and on. The more difficult issue being unaware of being a transgender and having a medical complication, due to this, doctors around the world have faced several issues as male, female and transgender anatomy is different it reacts differently to medicines and other treatments.  It is our ethical duty to comprehend who to refer to as transgenders and to reflect it amongst our societies about their complete inclusion without any malice underneath. It should be the job of the educated and the privileged to make the change from the front from talking to them, helping them and to educate their near ones about inclusiveness. Our sense of helpfulness could encourage others in our circle to reciprocate in the same way, thus causing a chain reaction of positive change. Things have changed in the recent past but at tortoise’s pace. Few seconds of delay in our schedule causes our whole day or sometimes weeks to be in turmoil. Imagining the hatred and disrespect our fellow citizens face due to something very personal to everyone – their sexuality, is nothing more than an age-old dimension that we need to eliminate and go dimensionless in future. While NGOs and even modern-day policy makers try to make transgenders more mainstream, we as law abiding, god fearing citizens should help them as no one has ever spoken about them as they don’t capture the demography just enough to make a dent in the vote bank of any party. So, let us talk about our societal taboos, write more about it, and make use of this wonderful era of technology to bring an end to the anathema of our times.  Thank you. Keep safe and sane!

Akash Ranjan

Intern, Goa Chronicle
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