Stories from India’s trans community, an essay in images

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Trans people in India are amongst the most socially disenfranchised groups in the country. With fear and apathy how the are usually greeted.

Their refusal to conform to gender binary societal norms somehow dehumanizes them. They are no longer seen as members of society as they deviate from these social norms.

But their will to fight back, to be true to who they are is truly inspiring. We came across a Photo Essay on feminismindia.com by  Eisha Hussain and we simply had to share! The essay seeks to not only get their struggles across but also seeks to humanize them, the first step to integrate the trans community is to accept them for who they are. No one but the individual has the right to define themselves, and no matter that definition, we need to collectively, as a society accept it, for the freedom of definition is the individuals and the individuals alone.

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Sneha: “How often do you say, “That’s Rahul and he’s a boy?” Never, right? Then why should you call me out as a transgender person when introducing me to others?”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Ramya: “I will not be cornered. I want the society to accept me just the way I am. I want to do that not by living my life on the terms and conditions of the society but on my own terms.”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

“Our society will still accept animals but not us. How are we different? We laugh when we’re happy, we cry when we’re sad. We have the same emotions.”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Kiran: “I want to be recognised for my talents and capabilities and not as a transgender model or actress. Why can’t I model for a saree?”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Bobby: “I come from a well-off family but I have to make a living here, away from home, because my brothers are ashamed of the way I dress and carry myself. I doubt if I will even get my share of the ancestral property.”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Ramkali: “As a child, I was beaten up by my grandfather because I would wear the clothes of my sisters and my mother. I would wear dupattas and bangles because I felt different. I enjoyed sitting with the women of my family than being with the men.”

 

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

“I left home when I was 17. I just could not have lived as someone I wasn’t. My parents just did not understand me back then. Now they feel that I’ve established myself as an individual and have, in ways, accepted me. I have completely changed the way I carry myself and do not want it to be a cause of discomfort for my family members in society. Therefore, I do not visit my hometown. But here, within my space, I don’t care. If somebody has a problem with the way I dress up, it’s their issue.”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

Dhaani and Mannat: “We like to keep our distance from guys. Love is not made for us. We cannot ruin the lives of the men we love. We cannot be that selfish.”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

“I think makeup is empowering. It gives me a chance to choose who I want to be for the day.”

Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain
Image: feminismindia.com/Eisha Hussain

“A person without a roof on their head and food in their belly would definitely move out on the streets at night than go to schools.”

Find the article where is was first published here; https://feminisminindia.com/2018/05/02/photo-essay-trans-persons-narratives/