Saturday, 9 December 2017

Couple Who Underwent Sex Change In Mumbai Get Death Threats

"Since our love story has gone viral on social media, we both have been getting death threats online from unknown users," Krishnan said.

Couple Who Underwent Sex Change In Mumbai Get Death Threats

Mumbai: Not just in the movies, there are real-life villains as well, ready to threaten lovebirds. And that's what this Kerala trans-couple is facing - Aarav Appukuttan, who was born Bindu, and Sukanyeah Krishnan who was born Chandu. The two had met during their respective gender transformation treatment at Mumbai's Kokilaben Ambani hospital and fallen in love.

After their story went viral following mid-day's report on August 21, along with support on social media have come abusive messages, threatening them with dire consequences. 
Talking to mid-day, Krishnan said, "Since our love story has gone viral on social media, we both have been getting death threats online from unknown users."

"So far, I have got seven death threats from unknown Facebook users. I replied to them, asking why don't they have the guts to post such abuse from their real accounts, instead of hiding behind fake accounts, but they didn't respond to that," she added.

A few days ago, someone even called on Krishnan's mobile phone and said 'Whatever you are doing is wrong. If you give an interview on TV or to any other media, we will see to it' and hung up.

Following the threats, the two had visited the Palace Road police station in Bengaluru on Saturday and submitted a complaint letter. The police have called the two on Tuesday to record their statement.

Appukuttan said, "There are many people who are against us. They don't like what we are doing, because of which we are receiving abusive messages on social media. They have attacked us in such deplorable language that I can't even repeat the words."

"There are others like us, who want to change their gender. Some people had been misguiding them. We started giving them the correct information and guiding them on the correct way to go about it. Hence, we started receiving threats. We lodged a complaint, after which officers transferred our case to the cyber crime cell, which is carryi

High Court Asks Navy To Consider Transgender For Alternate Job

"You can punish her for indiscipline, but at the same time you can accommodate her," a bench of Justices GS Sistani and VK Rao suggested to Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the Centre and Navy.

High Court Asks Navy To Consider Transgender For Alternate Job
During the course of the hearing, the bench said, "the mind-set should change."
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre to consider giving an alternate job to a transgender sailor who was removed from service after sex change, terming it an "out of the box situation".

"You can punish her for indiscipline, but at the same time you can accommodate her," a bench of Justices GS Sistani and VK Rao suggested to Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the Centre and Navy.

Calling for a change in mind-set, the bench said the instant case was probably the only one of its kind in the armed forces and asked the Navy to consider the transgender for some other job.

"Here is an opportunity to look at it from a different perspective. It is an out of the box situation. It may be a first of its kind situation."

"Here is a person struggling with gender identity. Had she suppressed the condition and continued, it would have been dangerous. It could have been fatal. Think about it and come back," the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on November 23.

The court said that while the person deserved to be punished for indiscipline for being absent without leave, but where there was a medical condition of this sort, it may be seen from a different perspective.

During the course of the hearing, the bench said, "the mind-set should change. In today's situation, a medical condition like this cannot be suppressed."

The court was of the view that the petitioner, who was posted on board INS Eksila at Visakhapatnam, can give up claim for the job of sailor and may accept a clerical position so that the family, comprising aged parents, the individual's wife and child, need not suffer.

ASG Jain and central government standing counsel Anil Soni, who also appeared for the Navy, told the court that the individual in question "had a chequered history of indiscipline" for being absent without leave several times.

However, they agreed to take instructions on whether the instant matter can be taken up as a special case.

They also told the bench that the individual had got badly infected after undergoing sex reassignment surgery and it was the Navy which treated her humanely and provided treatment and counselling to her.

The lawyers said that one seat in another branch or department of the force cannot be blocked for such an individual who also suffered from psychiatric and gender identity problems.

They further argued that since the petitioner was a female now, she cannot be employed as a sailor in the Navy as that position is not open for women.

The ASG said the simple question before the bench was whether a woman, and not a transgender, can be appointed as a sailor on a ship as the petitioner was now a female.

The petitioner had challenged the October 6 order of the Navy removing her from service.

She had claimed that she was suffering from gender identity issues since 2011 and when she told her parents, they forced her to marry a woman.

She further claimed that she was absent from service without leave several times as she suffered bouts of depression, owing to her gender identity issues.

Rajasthan Gets First Transgender Cop After 'Red Tape' Delayed Appointment

Ganga Kumari had cleared the police recruitment test for constables in 2013, however, her appointment in 2015 was held up following medical examination and "lack of clarity of rules"

Rajasthan Gets First Transgender Cop After 'Red Tape' Delayed Appointment
Ganga Kumari didn't face any discrimination in school, college or her small village.
Jalore, Rajasthan: Two years after 24-year-old Ganga Kumari was denied the post of a constable in the Rajasthan Police owing to her gender, she is all set to become the first transgender in the state to wear the uniform. The Rajasthan High Court yesterday directed the police to process Ganga's appointment within six weeks and consider her selection from 2015. 

A resident of Raniwara in Jalore district of Rajasthan, Ganga had cleared the police recruitment test for constables in 2013, however, her appointment in 2015 was held up following medical examination and "lack of clarity of rules". The delay forced her to approach the court a year later.  

Ganga, the youngest of seven siblings, didn't face any discrimination or humiliation in school, college or her small village. But she was disappointed when her appointment was halted based on her gender.

"It took two years and a legal battle for this victory, but I am happy as it was worth the wait. People are biased against transgender persons. I want to change that mindset," Ganga said.

Constable Ganga Kumari, who will now be posted in Jalore, was the first transgender to clear the written examination and physical test for recruitment of police constables in Rajasthan. "I dreamed of joining the police because I want to serve the citizens of my country. Now the path ahead is clear and I want to begin my new role on a positive note," Ganga told NDTV.

Earlier this year, 25-year-old K Prithika Yashini became the first transgender person to join as a sub-inspector in Tamil Nadu police.

Like Ganga, she too had to fight for her rights. As the state police recruitment board didn't have a third gender category, her application got rejected at first. But following her petition, the Madras High Court declared her a fit candidate, paving the way for her appointment by the Tamil Nadu government. 

The Court had also directed the recruitment board to make changes to draw transgenders to the state police force.

Back in 2014, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, had created the "third gender" status for transgenders. The top court had directed the Centre to treat transgenders as socially and economically backward and said they are entitled to equal opportunities in education and employment.

Friday, 18 August 2017

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Why a transgender woman has sued the government, CBSE and Delhi University

Riya Sharma wants government documents and her marksheets to reflect her new name and gender identity.

Riya Sharma (Left) with her elder sister. | Riya Sharma

Having embraced her identity as a transgender woman around 2012-’13, Riya Sharma cannot bear to be called Rahul anymore.

She was assigned the male gender at her birth in 1994, named Rahul and spent her student years trying to fit in at the government-run boys’ schools in West Delhi that she attended. Her harkat – mannerisms – routinely betrayed her. “I felt, walked, talked and sat like a girl,” she said.

Now a graduate, Sharma, 23, originally from West Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar, would like her school and college marksheets to reflect her new name – Riya – and identity as a transgender person.

But the government’s Department of Publications, the Central Board of Secondary Education and Delhi University have set conditions that make it practically impossible for her to set her educational records straight.

Sharma is now suing all three in the Delhi High Court. Considering that it is already rare for members of the transgender community to finish school, let alone graduate, her case against educational institutions is likely a first in India.

Rahul and Riya

All of Sharma’s education certificates – her Class 10 and Class 12 board exam marksheets and those from Delhi University – still bear her old name, Rahul Sharma.

Sharma has not undergone a full sex reassignment surgery yet. Consequently, in July 2016, her application for a change of name in her documents of public record (such as voter ID or driving licence) was rejected by the government’s Department of Publications. Additionally, Delhi University will not replace Rahul with Riya in its records till Sharma’s school board, the Central Board of Secondary Education, does it. And the Central Board of Secondary Education only makes such changes if it receives an application for the change before the board results are published. As Sharma’s petition, filed in early July, says, she is “stuck in a cycle”.

The petition also argues that the insistence of the Department of Publications that she produce a certificate indicating sex reassignment surgery is contrary to the rights recognised by the Supreme Court in its 2014 NALSA judgement. Named after the main petitioner in the case, the National Legal Services Authority of India, the judgement had declared transgenders as a “third gender” and a backward class entitled to reservations.

“The judgement clearly says that [gender identity] is self-identification by the person and no surgery is required for an individual to identify themselves as any other gender than the one they were born as,” said Sharma’s lawyer, Yashraj Singh Deora. There are two other court cases challenging the Department of Publications’ conditions.

The Central Board of Secondary Education’s bye-laws require transgender persons to come out while they are still in school. In reality, most transgenders wait till they are adults. “A child may know from a very early age but will not declare it unless they are confident their parents and society will support them,” said Deora.

Sharma’s did not, and her life took the same course as that of most hijras, or transgender women, in India – leaving home, becoming a chela (a disciple) under a senior hijra or guru, and earning through toli-badhai, the traditional practice of blessing newborns and newly-weds in exchange for money. However, what sets Riya apart is her education.

‘Be more manly’

Sharma knew she was different by the time she entered secondary school – for Classes 6 to 10 – in Tagore Garden in New Delhi. A boys-only institution running in the evening shift, it had a reputation for being difficult. Local residents called it a chidiyaghar, a zoo.

“Soon after I joined Class 6, some boys locked me in a room and tried to remove my clothes,” said Sharma. The boys were punished but the experience scarred her.

“There were two other boys in my class who we knew were gay but I avoided them,” she said. “I feared I would be exposed if I did not and be bullied and beaten like them.”

It was hard for her to fully repress her urge to dance, to clap as she had seen hijras visiting her colony do, and the few friends she had guessed her secret. At the school where she went next, where she attended Classes 11 and 12, she found acceptance more easily. “They [students] just objected to the claps,” she recalled.

Although there was no concealing that she was different, Sharma could not count on her family’s support if she openly identified as female. Her father, a carpenter, constantly counselled her to drop her mannerisms, “be more manly”. Coming out was not an option.

Rahul Sharma had to be content with identifying herself as Riya on her Facebook page.

Leaving home

After completing school in 2012 – two years before the NALSA judgement – Sharma took admission in the BA programme of Delhi University’s distance learning wing, the School of Open Learning. Around the same time, she discovered Mitr Trust, a West Delhi non-profit working with the transgender community. She joined their outreach programme about creating awareness about HIV infection among transgender sex-workers.

Her brother complained about the company she kept. Her father grew violent. “He would drink and beat me and call me a chhakka [pejorative for eunuch] in public,” she recalled of the year 2012. Even her mother withdrew support after discovering condoms she had kept for distribution in her bag. Her elder sister was already married and had left home.

In March 2013, she left home. She stayed in her office for some weeks, then at an administrator’s home. In June, a newly-adopted guru organised accommodation for her in a single room in Sagarpur, another West Delhi colony.

Sharma’s mother and brother landed up at the Mitr Trust’s office one night in July that year, broke furniture and threatened its workers with further violence if they did not disclose where their “son” was. Fearing more such attacks, Sharma left Mitr Trust, her room and moved in with a sex-worker for the rest of 2013. On January 19, 2014 she left for Mewat, a region spread over the states of Haryana and Rajasthan, and a life of toli-badhai.

Sharma tried to keep up with her studies as best as she could, ensuring she re-registered each year and collected the study material. “I went for my 2015 exams in male attire but faced problems because, by then, I had long hair,” she said. She wrote her exams, still as Rahul, but failed economics and history.

On January 9, 2016, she underwent a surgery by a doctor popular with the transgender community in a Haryana village. It was not the sex reassignment surgery required bt the Department of Publications, and Sharma has no papers to show for it.

When she registered for her economics and history exams, Delhi University did issue her an admit card with an updated photo. But her marksheets – Sharma cleared both exams – still have the name Rahul Sharma on them.

A proper job

Sharma has now applied to the Indira Gandhi National Open University’s master’s programme in gender and development studies but could submit only her Aadhaar card – the 12-digit biometric-based identity card – obtained after her surgery, as proof of identity. She hopes the different name on her marksheets will not affect her chances for admission into the course.

Sharma made peace with her family last October, extending support as they dealt with her sister’s marriage collapsing. She reconciled with them completely during her younger brother’s wedding in November.

Despite all that, Sharma still depends on toli-badhai. These days, she operates around Bharatpur, a town in Rajasthan, and occasionally comes home to Raghubir Nagar in Delhi.

“My family just wants me to stop begging and either study or try for a proper job,” she said. “But for all that, I need my papers corrected.”

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Transgenders photo collection (Trans sex)

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