Indians are still not ready to welcome transsexual and gender non-conforming individuals into society. The numerous Pride parades and campaigns organized to educate the public about gender roles and equality have failed to somehow abate the stereotypes from people’s minds.
Non-binary and transgender teachers have not been completely and wholeheartedly accepted in Indian schools yet. Even in 2022, they are victims of controversy and gossip. Their struggle to find a place in the community is constantly being met with disregard and disrespect.
Trans Teacher Forced To Resign
Jane Kaushik is a 29-year-old transgender woman, who was recently forced to resign from her position as a teacher of Social Sciences in a school in Uttar Pradesh. She taught in the school for a week or so after being offered the job but was soon dismissed from her post because of her gender identity.
Kaushik told the press, “I was qualified for the position, the school conducted a thorough check, and then hired me on the condition that I do not reveal my identity.” She added, “I am a 6 ft-tall woman with broad shoulders. I can wear a sari, and dress conventionally, but how do I change my body?”
She was very disappointed with the students and her fellow teachers at the school and their behavior towards her.
She claimed, “Only aware students can make for aware adults, but if adults keep promoting stigma how will the attitudes of the children change?” she said. “Being a trans person is hard in itself. With such brutal scrutiny even in educated spaces, how are we expected to function normally?”
Education Is Not Gender Neutral
Manabi Bandopadhyay was known to be the first non-binary woman in India to reach as high as becoming the Principal of an institution in 2015. She struggled all her life, and even after becoming the Headmistress of Krishnagar Women’s College in West Bengal, her hassles didn’t come to an end.
The then education minister of West Bengal, Partha Chatterjee turned down Manabi’s resignation and she was reinstated as the principal of the college once again. However, in 2019, she was transferred to Dhola Mahavidyalaya under Calcutta University.
Manabi Bandopadhyay said in an interview, “The covert microaggressions have traumatised me over the years in such a manner that I feel there’s absolutely no means to sensitise people.” She added, “On the surface, society may have accepted us, but they subconsciously keep rejecting us at every single step.”
India In Need Of Stricter Laws For LGBTQI+
Even though the laws state to protect the rights and dignity of the trans community and people who identify as non-binary, discrimination still exists in society, especially in workplaces.
Advocacy manager at a Mumbai-based NGO called Humsafar Trust, which works for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, Mr. Tinesh Chopade, said, “Getting a qualifying degree is the biggest challenge that transgender and queer children face. The other major problem for them is getting the correct documentation. The process is long and tedious and most of them are not educated enough to figure out the process.”
Transgenders are an integral part of our community and it is high time people offer them their deserving respect and position in society.
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