Education is the most basic human right that every being is privileged to irrespective of a person’s religion, social status, and gender yet we let such factors decide that person’s future. Yet, we are so adamant on getting people around us fit into these so-called classified boxes of gender and stereotypes that we forget to look at the actual substance of a person. Such cases are true with transgenders.
The term transgender is an umbrella term which includes binary trans men and women, non-binary people, gender-queer persons and gender non-conforming persons. To be simple, it refers to someone whose gender doesn’t match the gender that was assigned to them at birth. This feeling of misalignment causes what is called ‘gender dysphoria’.
Transgenders are bashed; belittled, punished, physically assaulted and even killed for being something apparently they weren’t supposed to be. Being transgender is not a choice. Day by day their life gets harder and harder, they are denied their basic human rights. Imagine living in a world where your voice is always silenced, where you are exploited, discriminated, and feel unsafe every single minute.
This is the harsh reality of transgenders in India. But the fact we often ignore or don’t even realize is that directly or indirectly, we, as a society, are responsible for their condition. Being disowned by their own families and harsh treatments from other people in society leads to their so-called ‘bad’ behaviour.
Studies have proven that 80% of the transgender students go through at least one type of mental disorder, these numbers are shocking, often these students end up dropping out of high schools and colleges. Lack of access to education and non-availability of jobs often forces them to take to begging and prostitution. The amount of psychological trauma these people have to go through is insane and no one deserves such treatment.
These constant harassments and lack of awareness interfere in their education. Most colleges deny admission to transgender despite their excellent academic and extra-curricular activities. If we, as a society, can’t make people feel safe and become an obstacle in their education we really need to rethink the purpose of our mere existence.
They shouldn’t be feeling inferior or fear their safety when entering schools and colleges and if they are, it’s us who are at fault. Providing enough space for their identity development, providing a safe environment for them to focus and achieve better education and giving them equal opportunities isn’t that hard of a task.
If we as a hiring manager, recruiter, principal, teacher or any individual understand their struggles & try to support the transgender people, then we are really making a huge difference in our society and showing actual proof of humanity. The fact that the government has initiated so many acts and welfare society yet isn’t receiving any proper cooperation from society, speaks volumes.
Tamil Nadu has been the only state which has successfully pioneered transgender inclusion by introducing the transgender welfare policy. According to this policy, transgenders have access admission in government colleges with full scholarship for higher studies, and alternative sources of livelihood. In March 2009, Tamil Nadu government set up a telephone helpline called them, an initiative which was responsible for the formation of India’s first helpline for the LGBTQIA community in 2011 at Madurai.
This ignorance and lack of understanding about transgender people in Indian society need to be changed as soon as possible, and it can only be done by spreading awareness among people and giving proper education and jobs to Trans people, along with laws protecting them from any kind of harassment or discrimination.