Transgenders across the city converged at Jantar Mantar on Saturday to celebrate the recognition of the community as a third gender.
Laxmi Tripathi (Left), famous transgender rights activist celebrates the recognition of the community as a third gender. (Mohd. Zakir/HT Photo)
“It was my years in school that exposed me to the humiliation that people from transgender community faced in the country,” said Sunil, a eunuch also known as Sonia, at the gathering.
Recalling her childhood she said, "I was in class 6 when I was forced to have sex with my senior. After this incident, getting raped behind the shut doors of a classroom along with physical and verbal assault became a regular affair. Despite having strong family support, the matter was hushed due to the fear of being ousted by society."
Watch: Transgenders celebrate first victory in battle for recognition
Sonia’s story is more or less what almost all transgenders faced in their childhood.
Having to earn a living as a sex worker, Sonia said: "If the government can provide us with jobs and help us earn the respect in society, then I would be the first one in my group to stop working as a sex worker. However, we have been hearing such things for many years now. I am not sure how well the law would be implemented."
After years of waiting and especially after the reimposition of section 377 (criminalisation of homosexuality), this landmark verdict came as a pleasant surprise to the transgender community.
Transgenders from across the city had gathered to listen to Laxmi Tripathi, a transgender activist and be a part of the sensitization programme that saw lawyers like Anand Grover sharing their experience in the court room while fighting for the recognition for being a third gender.
Fed up of the verbal assault, Amrita, another eunuch, who quit her BA course from Delhi University, said: "I still get beaten by my father and brothers for dressing up like a girl. They want me to act like a boy." Amrita wishes to be a makeup artist and own a studio in Paris. She is very excited to know that now she can own a passport and have access to other relevant documents with her gender mentioned in it.
"I have already applied for the post of travelling ticket examiner (TTE) in the Indian railways. I hope to get selected and set an example to the society," said Chandni, who never got deterred by the derogatory remarks passed at her.
"I am a representative of every section of LGBT. This is just a beginning of our good days. The fight to pen down section 377 will still go on. Now we have a base on which we can put up a fight for our rights at a large scale. We will bring about a cultural change in our society," said Laxmi Tripathi.