BEING TRANS ISN’T A CHOICE BUT BEING TRANSPHOBIC IS.

BY – SACHIN SHARMA

It is rightly said by Martin Luther King, Jr. that "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed." The Social Justice Ministry issued a notification notifying that the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 is given Presidential assent on December 5, 2019 though it was already passed by Parliament on November 26. The act is here to provide a mechanism for social, economical and educational empowerment to trans genders. The act defines transgender persons as those "whose gender does not match the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-men or trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons having socio-cultural identities such as kinnar, hijras, aravani and jogta". A person would have the right to choose to be identifed as male, female or "transgender". However, transgender people are required to go to a district magistrate to have their gender identity certified, and require proof of sex reassignment surgery. The act prohibits discrimination against transgender people in nine fields, such as education, employment and healthcare.

This year we all happily celebrated 74th Independence Day together but on the other hand it is really sad that it took such a long time to ensure rights to the Transgender community. Even after a act is in order but still the Transgender community is not satisfied and many transgender activists are having objections to the act. The act make sexual abuse against a transgender person a punishable offence but as In the case of a cisgender woman if her rapist once convicted will be sentenced to a minimum of 7 years of Jail term which can extend to a life sentence however when it comes to a transgender person the minimum sentence is 6 months and can extend to a maximum of just two years.The act while mentioning government aid in education and healthcare does not specify the manner they will aid the transgender community. Nothing is said about the subsidization of fees and medical bills. The act does not have any provisions to apprehend those who discriminate against bully or her as transgender people at educational institutes ,workplaces or anywhere else.If the family of a transgender person is unable to take care of them the person may be placed in a rehabilitation centre with order from the court this denies the right of a person to join other transgender communities such as the hijra communities.

I am also in the favour of Trangender community and the objections they are having and I want these objections to be viewed on a larger scale and changes should be made regarding this and also once we must view the demands of the transgenders to know what they actually want. India can adopt measures from countries like Denmark, Argentina, Iran etc. that are found really effective across the globe. Measures like allowing transgender people to self-determine identity without medical intervention, Denmark is the only European country that doesn’t require any psychiatric diagnoses or any certificate by a medical professional to have their gender identity certified as “Transgender” can be imposed. In the end I hope and pray for a better future for the Transgender community.

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Sachin Sharma

Sachin Sharma

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