With The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2018 reeking of transmisogyny, there is a wave of terror within the trans community. The Bill dehumanizes the existence of trans genderqueer persons and violates their right to equality as explicated in this article. It is more important than ever to support trans people or those who are questioning.
Transitioning can be a daunting process, with many legal, societal and medical hurdles in the way. These blogs document the transitions of four trans people explain the tricky processes involved, as well as tell their stories of transitioning. This list (which by no means is exhaustive) is intended as a resource to help navigate a world which feels increasingly isolating for a trans or genderqueer person that is considering transition.
1. Jamal Siddiqui
Jamal describes himself as “Indian, Muslim, Transman (Transgender man) and a nerd“. He first started documenting his transition a year ago on his Youtube channel. It started as an impulse for him as during his time of transition he was “shocked that there weren’t any Indian transgender people who had documented their transition”. Consequently, it made him think about whether “transitioning was just a Western concept, yaha aisa hota bhi hai ya nahi (does this even happen in my country)“. When he found resources in India and realized that he actually didn’t have to leave the country to transition, he thought it was important to let other people know that “mere jaise bhi kissi ne transition kara hai (someone just like me – Indian – has also transitioned)” to do away with the stigma attached with it. When his first video came out, he was surprised at the number of responses he got, specifically asking for names of doctors, lawyers, etc. who could help in transitioning. This made him realize that he “needs to do this more seriously” and thus his journey of documentation started.
It is important to let other people know that “mere jaise bhi kissine transition kara hai (someone just like me – Indian – has also transitioned) and to do away with the stigma attached with it.
2. Gazal Dhaliwal
Gazal Dhaliwal is an actor and a writer who is thriving in her dream to be able to tell stories and move people. She is known for her work in movies like Wazir (2016), Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016), Qarib Qarib Single (2017) and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019). In a blog she wrote in 2009, she explains how she used to feel that “she is the only one in the whole world who was trapped by wrong anatomy“.
She didn’t want other people who were gender dysphoric to feel isolated the same way she did. Therefore, she documented her “Transition Train” explaining her transition and how to navigate the various intricacies surrounding it. Not only was the blog a helpful avenue for others to use as a resource but also helped her, as she mentioned in her blog, “to slowly grow out of those anxieties and insecurities that have inhabited my life for over 2 decades”. The link to her blog is here.
3. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju
Trinetra is a 21-year-old third-year medical student, artist, aspiring surgeon and proud trans woman. She uses her large social media following to talk about her transition. Her Instagram account features frequent stories and posts on her art/transition/everyday experiences. She also has a Youtube channel where she includes videos related to being a trans woman, ranging from quizzing her family about gender and sexuality to guiding people through transition. For her, the most important part of transitioning is being able to “take control over your life, and on your own terms – unlike those imposed constantly by an ignorant, misinformed society.” She wants anyone seeking gender affirmative therapy or feeling the lack of control to know that “resources, people and help are available – and there are indeed a few of us working every day to create visibility in professions and spaces that have long been discriminatory”.
“Resources, people and help are available – and there are indeed a few of us working every day to create visibility in professions and spaces that have long been discriminatory.”
Along with the aforementioned resources provided by people who have transitioned/ are transitioning, there is also a website dedicated to spreading love and inspiration to and from the transgender community in India. The website, named Orinam provides multiple resources ranging from legal, social and medical advice for trans people to stories shared by the community.
This is by no means an exhaustive or representative list. Suggestions to add to this list are welcome in the comments section.