(Trans) Gender Equality – Demanding ‘more’ Visibility
Gender discrimination prevails, in fact omnipresent, across every country and culture. It’s hard to find a society where gender equality is absolutely ensured. It still remains ideal. The forlorn victims of gender discrimination are considered predominantly as women. But do you think this is true? Yes and no. While addressing gender difference we always tent to miscalculate that we live in a bipolar world, men and women, completely forgetting about the transgender community. They are the most vulnerable victims of gender inequality in every society, and are loudly pronounced in Indian public. Helpless transgender are even denied an acceptance if not recognition, by fellow human beings. They are never allowed to voice their minds. Many of us sigh on our complicated lives. But not for many of us passing every day would be a nightmare filled with countless discrimination from all corners of the society.
With every door shut for them most of the transgender community are forced into beggary and a sizeable are forced into prostitution. But some bold souls have sprung up with a voice gathering inevitable attentions. They have come out to demand their right to equality which they doubtlessly deserve.
More often our common prejudices are mainly due to the lack of visibility and our denial for acceptance may arise due to misinformation. So, Creofire feels to bring this topic into the common platform to have a better understanding. In Creofire we aim at discussing topics that are often ignored either by bias or by ignorance.
Etymology of Terms used
To understand the transgender community first the etymology of the term has to be understood. The lexicon ‘transgender’ is an umbrella term first used by psychiatrist John F. Oliven in his book ‘Sexual Hygiene and Pathology’ in 1965. Under this umbrella term comes plenty of terms many of which are hitherto unheard.
Though the transgender references are found from antiquity, it was after 1950s the topic was much discussed about. They are identified by different names across various societies. They are addressed as ‘eunuchs’ or ‘hijras’ widely across South Asia and were addressed as ‘ali/aravani’ in a derogatory way in Tamil. After much effort some have began to call them with a decent coined lexicon ‘Thirunangai’ (‘Thiru’ mean ‘Mister’ and ‘nangai’ mean ‘woman’).
The Social Fallacy
Transgender members often live in groups as some of them are advocated to leave their family or most often they opt to leave themselves unable to cope with the ill treatment and strong disapproval of their own family members. The lack of societal acceptance is derived from an acute misconception that being transgender is irrational. Many even think that it has nothing to do with the bodily changes but ultimately it is a self-fabricated idea by a normal human to become a transgender.
This I find as the pivotal reason, this public mindset, which seriously discriminates Trans people from others. Even the words that we use reveal our prejudices. We call our sexual orientation ‘Straight’ which is synonymous to ‘something being right’. Accepting this, naturally one can argue that this terminology also means that ‘any other’ kind of sexual orientations is wrong or more precisely stamps as ‘perverted’. Though at this juncture the course of the discussion also comply to the LGBT people, since the primary concern of this article is to focus the attention on transgender people, that includes ‘trans women’ and ‘trans men’, I stick on to that alone.
Often I’ve come across the comments from many saying that those people can’t fit in with the normal lives with us. In actuality it is our discrimination of their actuality alienates them from the rest of the society and forces them to live a marginalized life. With this I conclude the first part of this article. As the title emphasizes clearly, this article just requests more visibility. In the next and concluding part of this article we’ll ponder upon more on the miserable lives of these poor folks.