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A candid confession: My sexual identity finds no acceptance

The highest court of the land gave the transgender community an identity — recognising it as third gender. Even universities were asked to make their higher education institutions transgender friendly, but there is a huge gap in what is said and what happens on the ground.

education Updated: Jun 11, 2015 13:41 IST
JNU

Every-member-of-the-LGBT-community-probably-has-a-homophobic-incident-to-narrate-Arun-Sharma-HT-Photo

The highest court of the land gave the transgender community an identity — recognising it as third gender. Even universities were asked to make their higher education institutions transgender friendly, but there is a huge gap in what is said and what happens on the ground.

I study in one of the most prestigious universities in the country, but my sexual identity still finds no acceptance.
Whenever I walk into any space, like a canteen in the university, students do not want to touch me. They just shrug and pass by me.

It’s not just my perception. Other people have observed this too. Most people on campus are still homophobic. Every person who belongs to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community will have similar instances to narrate.

A teacher once asked a fellow activist and friend, “How is your animal rights movement going on?” She has repeated this numerous times in front of people.

Simply introducing the “other” category in the admission form is not going to bring in inclusion. The actual process of inclusion begins after that.

For instance, a transgender (an umbrella term that is used) gets admitted to the campus, which hostel is the person going to get accommodation in?

Authorities have told us that students file written complaints about how they do not want to share rooms with the people from the queer community.

It is also important to build unisex toilets. I am not saying they should be built in all the areas, but certain important places of the campus should have them.

Other important issues are sensitisation programmes for teachers, students and the non-teaching staff, which can happen during the orientation programmes.

Gourab Ghosh is a research scholar at Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and an LGBTQ activist.

Read:Manabi Bandophadhyay: India's first transgender college principal takes charge in West Bengal