A couple days ago, there was an update on Facebook, which explained that a group of friends was restricted from entering GVK One, a large & well-known mall in Hyderabad, because two of them were trans women.
The group was visiting the mall on Sunday, to watch the movie Time Out (which ironically is a queer-themed film), when the security manager took it upon himself to question their very presence. They were stopped and asked with a rude demeanour, “Kya kar rahe idhar? Hato” (What are you doing here? Get out!). When asked about why they were singled out for questioning, the security manager continued to insist that it was his duty to inquire when there was any element of doubt. Though they explained that they were at the mall to watch a movie, he was relentless. The women explained transgender rights and the Supreme Court judgement, none of which deterred the transphobic attitude or the threatening body language with which he spoke.
However, the moment the conversation switched from Hindi to English, his entire demeanour changed and he finally let them in.
Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli*, one of the trans women who was at the receiving end of this discriminatory treatment (she is also a transgender activist in Hyderabad) filed a complaint with the mall and also filed a civil case against GVK One.
“Such attitudes are something trans women regularly face in the city. They have found coping mechanisms to deal with discriminatory behaviour such as this. However, we do not want the security manager victimised for this behaviour. He is a very small part of the problem. It is the responsibility of a global brand like GVK One to ensure they are at par with the law of the land. HR practice vacuum is the real problem”, she says.
Featured Image: Vyjayanti trying to speak to the security manager at GVK One | facebook.com
*We have Vyjayanti Vasatha Mogli’s permission to use her name