BUBBLE OF PROGRESSIVENESS IN GLOBAL ATMOSPHERE
A narrative byLucky, who was not just a transgender…….
It was a start to a new phase of life. Like all other students, I was also excited to join college, meet new people coming from different parts of the world, and finally living a “hostel life”. But unfortunately, everything was not same as it was for other students. Firstly, the college sent out a mail that all the males must come on 30th July and all the females on 31st July. But I was not suitable for either days and after contacting the administration, I was called on the 30th. The Zero day of college, which was all about admission process and hostel room allotment, was one of the toughest days of my life. While submitting all my personal details, the administration was not sure whether to allot me a room in the girls’ hostel or the boys’ hostel. Earlier, when I was in the process of filling up my admission form, I was happy to see “transgender” as an option in the Gender Column. But at the time of hostel allotment, the administration failed to exercise their promise of accepting the third gender and also failed to protect my fundamental rights. Lastly, where a room was shared by 3 students, I was the only one in my room as I was given an isolated room in the boys’ hostel.
This was not the only discrimination I faced. There were many after the incidents that took place on the Zero day. Firstly, we had to undergo a medical check-up and I was asked to go to a male doctor because I was allotted a room in the boys’ hostel. During the check-up the questions posed by him made me uncomfortable and there was a constant attempt to make me fit into the gender script written by the societal norms.
We were also asked to get the laundry bags from the laundry facility which put me into a dilemma whether to get it from the men’s laundry station or women’s laundry station. And from the very beginning, the college forced me to fit myself into the gender script, thus, I finally decided to issue it from the men’s station. There were various other situations like changing rooms, washrooms and frisking at the main gate which happens differently for boys and girls, that made me re-think the existence of my gender. The constant efforts by the college authority to incline me towards the male gender script put me through a lot of mental distress and agony.
A lot of students always tried to sympathize with me because of my gender and many of them asked me this same question that “Why don’t I go abroad for a sex change operation?” and I always answered it by saying that “You really do not understand. I am the third sex, not a man trying to be a woman. It is your society’s problem that you only recognize two kinds of roles”. Everybody thinks that having a third sex is not natural, but nobody understands that we are also a creation of god and our body parts are not created by any kind of operation.
All these devastating incidents didn’t discourage me because of my family support and I strongly focused on my dream of becoming a lawyer. Throughout my 5-year course, I came across three types of students where a very few were my good friends who accepted me, a few sympathized with me and many students who ignored me or hated me.
I would like to conclude that it was not the mentality of students which made them discriminate me from others or ignore me. It was failure on the part of administration to give me equal rights and make all students believe that I am one of them only.
The entire Third gender community face massive discrimination and it is not the mentality of the people which make them discriminate us from others, but it is the societal norms and the idea of existence of only two genders which influences everyone to not accept the third gender.
“As a side note, while I was writing this story I realized that it is really tough for a person belonging to a third gender to happily live in this society. Even though, the Supreme Court declared transgender to be the third gender in the National Legal Service Authority vs Union of India, we still need to focus upon many things to safeguard the human rights of the people belonging to the third gender.”
Nayan Singhal is a third-year Law student at O. P. Jindal Global University.