Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Invisible Gender

This post is dedicated to people who identify themselves with the third gender. In India, transgenders have often been regarded holy. However, that has not protected them from discrimination at work or even inclusion in our society. While discrimination is a fundamental problem in India along the lines of gender, economy, caste and religion, we interact with all these sections of society. We're friends with people from different religions and economies but how many of us have ever had the opportunity to talk normally with a transgender?

In my experience, I've awkwardly thrust money into their hands at traffic lights, intimidated and afraid.

In this gloomy scenario, I was pleased to find that the Bharatanatyam teacher at my college is a transgender. She was fresh and amazing. She was very passionate about the dance form and had trained rigorously for years.

There wasn't an iota of awkwardness. All my initial inhibitions had just melted. I felt proud of my institution for not discriminating against her.

It opened up a platform for discussion on this pressing issue and gave hope for the winds of change. Everybody has a bit of femininity and masculinity in them. Biologically, we have both hormones - testosterone and estrogen. Some of us like to express ourselves in different ways. While the society today doesn't bat an eyelid at a woman who dons a suit, it looks down upon men who outwardly exhibit feminine characteristics. I think there is a subtext here which implies manliness is more superior, but that is just my view. After doing some cursory Wikipedia based research, I was happy to see that Tamil Nadu had a lot of schemes for the improvement of their welfare.

I think things are looking better. Recently, I saw a band perform which comprised completely of transgenders. I envision a day in the future when a man can wear feminine clothes and receive the same supreme unconcern as a woman in masculine clothes.


  1. Hey nice post!! I liked how you highlight the double edged sword where its OK for women to wear a suit and be lauded while men are ridiculed for being effeminate! Keep em coming