Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 19:44:55

Fight For Right

Updated: April 18, 2015 3:21 pm

Transgender people suffer persistent inequalities in all aspects of life. They may be met with challenges to their parental relationships, lack of sufficient access to quality healthcare, free from discrimination, face difficulties in obtaining appropriate name and gender designations on their identity document and experience rampant workplace discrimination.

The contemporary term “transgender” arose in the mid-1990s from the grassroots community of gender-different people. In contemporary usage, transgender has become an “umbrella” term that is used to describe a wide range of identities and experiences, including but not limited to transsexual people; male and female cross-dressers (sometimes referred to as “transvestites,” “drag queens” or “drag kings”); intersexed individuals; and men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, whose appearance or characteristics are perceived to be gender atypical. In its broadest sense, transgender encompasses anyone whose identity or behaviour falls outside of stereotypical gender norms. That includes people who do not self identify as transgender, but who are perceived as such by others and thus are subject to the same social oppressions and physical violence as those who actually identify with any of these categories. Other current synonyms for transgender include “gender variant”, “gender different”, and “gender non-conforming”. In India, there are a host of socio-cultural groups of transgender people like hijras/kinnars, and other transgender identities like shiv-shaktis, jogtas, jogappas, Aradhis, Sakhi, etc. However, these socio-cultural groups are not the only transgender people, but there may be those who do not belong to any of the groups but are transgender persons individually. Transgender people in India face a variety of issues. So far, these communities perceive that they have been excluded from effectively participating in social and cultural life; economy; and politics and decision-making processes. A primary reason (and consequence) of the exclusion is perceived to be the lack of (or ambiguity in) recognition of the gender status of hijras and other transgender people. It is a key barrier that often prevents them in exercising their civil rights in their desired gender. So far, there is no single comprehensive source on the basis of which an evidence-based advocacy action plan can be prepared by transgender activists or possible legal solutions can be arrived at by policymakers. Reports of harassment, violence, denial of services, and unfair treatment against transgender persons in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation have been discussed in local media, from time to time.

Against this backdrop, the book Transgender Rights: A Panoramic View edited by Dr. C. Subramanian and Dr. M. Sugirtha assesses the status of transgender, challenges, and opportunities for future actions. Examining crucial topics like social outlook, education, employment opportunities, public health, economics, and various welfare measures, this book is an indispensable resource in the fight for the freedom and equality of those who cross gender boundaries.

By Nilabh krishna

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