I recently read a newspaper article about a transgender who opened a boutique at Madurai. She stated that she wanted to lead a noble life by running her own textile store. She had MBA degree yet she has been denied job opportunities owing to her gender. She was the first of her kind to set off for such a venture. I think such inspiring news should be made headlines everyday instead of publishing news of celebrities and their overrated lifestyles.
In our country, the mere sight of transgender sets off disgusting sighs and having a faceoff with them is the last thing one can hope for. I remember an incident vividly that make me smile whenever it crosses my mind. Once I was travelling from Delhi to Ludhiana alone. As usual, I was deeply engrossed in a book hardly aware that the train was half empty. Suddenly I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and a husky voice dressed in sari greeted me lent out her hand and asked me to give some money. I immediately recognized the predicament. I was startled, looked blankly at her and impulsively said “Bheiya…no no Didi…no….Bheiya!!” I just didn’t know what to address her. She smiled. I just hoped that she must have wanted me to call her “Didi”. So I said “Didi, I don’t have change.” She just smiled and left. I just heaved a sigh of relief coz she was gentle and left without making a scene. Of course I empathise with them but earning a means of livelihood by asking money from others just coz they are transgender is really inconsiderable.
Well, back at home I am sure the taboos still exist but homosexuals have really carved a niche for themselves. From dance groups to beauty salons, make up artists to fashionistas, homosexuals in Manipur are synonymous to beauty experts and the likes of it. Even if I have seen men frown at the mere mention of “homos” I feel that we owe them the respect that they deserve as they try to fit in this world inspite of all the discrimination and abuse they face. Every time I visit home, I get my hair done by them. They are the best in terms of style and price. At such times I always encourage them to come to the metros and start their enterprise. May be they are still scared to leave the comforts of their home, or may be its just that they are still abused in their own soil that daring to venture in unknown territories is still too risky….whatever it is, I am sure they have something to teach the rest of their counterparts in the rest of the country…to live a life in the most noble way inspite of all the loathing and hatred they endure. For once, we need not question sexuality rather humanity should be perked up.