Meet the trans community in a new YouTube channel and web series
Also on the cards: a talk show with transgender celebrities and episodes on crime against transgenders in a police procedural format.mumbai Updated: Dec 01, 2017 23:23 IST
Up until recently, transgenders weren’t even recognized as a separate gender in India. This means they had trouble getting an education, getting a good job, owning property or even inheriting family money. This is in addition to everyday stigma and petty humiliations for being born outside the binary definition of normal.
A YouTube channel and a web series are hoping to change the way the community viewed. Transvision is India’s first YouTube channel for and by transgenders, while 101India follows the story of Anjali Ameer, India’s first trans actress.
The first series on Transvision, started in May, is led by Hyderabad-based transgender activist Rachana Mudraboyina as writer and director. “We aim to dispel stereotypes surrounding the community,” says Mudraboyina.
The episodes tackle misconceptions like if being a transgender is a mental disorder. “Even on the internet, there is very little organised information to dispel such myths, so YouTube seemed a good place to start,” she says.
The series has planned eight episodes in three languages – Telugu, Dakkhini Urdu and Hindi. “We have released the first two episodes in Telugu with English subtitles,” she says. “I hope this will lead to other people coming forward and enriching the channel.”
Mudraboyina adds that there are also plans for a talk show with transgender celebrities and episodes on crimes on transgenders in a police procedural format.
Ameer’s video on 101 India is her personal story of a woman stuck in a man’s body in a traditional Muslim family in Kerala. “My problems were a joke to society and nobody understood me,” she says. “My mother passed away when I was very young and I have been alone since then. I was lost, unhappy and confused.”
Ameer worked as a beautician, in call centres and even a bar dancer before she became an actor. “I worked hard to earn enough money for a sex change operation and become a woman,” she says.
Early this year landed a role with Malayalam superstar Mamooty in the film Peranbu. “I readily agreed shooting the video for 101 as I wanted people like me to gain courage from my experience. I want to tell whoever watches to never give up on goals. To battle it out,” she says.