While the humankind is advancing towards the technological boom, some lives are striving to earn the basic respect and dignity in society they live in. One such category is the LGBT community. The LGBTQ youth identify themselves either as “transgender” or as “other gender,” and wrote in identities like “gender queer,” “gender-fluid” or “androgynous”,” non-binary”, “agender”, or somewhere else on or outside of the spectrum of layman’s understanding. Some choose to openly identify as transgender or kinner, while others simply identify as men or women. It seems that a larger portion of this generation’s youth is placing themselves on the broad transgender spectrum. The community is incredibly diverse and is equally deprived of transgender rights in India. In many ways, transgender is just like cisgender (non-transgender) people; but because of the social stigma surrounding the transgender identity, the community faces a unique set of challenges. As a matter of concern, the transgender community is struggling with seclusion and segregation related to exercising the rights, privacy, and safety. Our country now is the world’s most dangerous place for women where 4 women every hour are raped as per the stats, let alone the conditions for transgender women.
Some of the specific problems faced by the transgender in India are social discrimination, stigma and systemic inequality with no justice to LGBTQ rights in India-
i. Lack of legal rights and safety– There is still no comprehensive non-discrimination law that justifies the transgender rights in India in spite of the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education taken steps to include transgender people under existing non-discrimination protections.
ii. Poverty– Mostly due to lack of legal protection it translates into unemployment. Also, they are deprived of their own families and being unable to afford basic living necessities they are caught up in underground economies like drug sales or survival sex work exposing them at increased risk of violence and arrest.
iii. Social Harassment- The LGBTQ rights in India is so meek that people face considerable ostracization as mentally ill, socially deviant and sexually predatory. This stigma plays out in a variety of contexts for gay and transgender people/kinner who are often met with ridicule from society. This makes them vulnerable to lawmakers leveraging anti-transgender stigma to score cheap political points; to family, friends or coworkers rejecting transgender people because of their identities; and to people who harass, bully and commit serious violence against them.
iv. Anti-transgender Torture– Transgender are murdered, raped, stabbed, shot, strangled, burned; killed violently by intimate partners or strangers. Transgender people have no way out to prevent violence or seeking justice. Those who had interacted with police experienced bias-based harassment from police reported a physical assault, sexual assault by police and having been denied equal service by law enforcement. They admitted that they were uncomfortable turning to the police for help.
v. Healthcare Challenges– Data collections do reveal a healthcare system that is insufficient to the needs of the transgender community. Beyond facing barriers to obtaining medically-necessary health services and encountering medical professionals who lacked transgender health care competency, they had been refused medical care outright because of bias.
vi. Unverified Documents – The absence of accurate identity documents among transgender impacts their daily living preventing access to emergency housing or other public services. Today, without identification, one cannot travel, register for school or access services to function in society. Evidence of medical transition is prohibitively expensive and is not something that all transgender people want to show. Processing new identity documents are unaffordable for some resulting in failure to update their identity documents to match their affirmed gender.
Keywords: Problems Faced By The Transgender In India, LGBT rights in india, kinner
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