Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We all are transgenders in someway.

While watching this program on NDTV about situation of transgenders in Indian society, I was wondering what is the reason these people are so stereotyped that they can't live normal life in most of societies around the world. By normal life I mean get same treatment and opportunities which most of us so called 'normal' or 'fixed gender' type people get. In India most of them are forced in certain trade or live in ghettos because of the way society treats them. Why it is so difficult for any society to accept them as equal citizens or for that matter why we are so apprehensive about anything which doesn't fit to the age old definition of "normal"? Who decides what is normal and what is not? Is most common means normal and something which is uncommon becomes abnormal? We need to ask many such questions to counter this narrative which is going on uninterrupted for centuries. It is really sad to see that some people among us get discriminated for something which is quite natural. They face various difficulties and problems not because of their mistakes or actions but just because who they are. The attitude 'oh they are different than us or they are nor normal, so they can't be with us or our kids will become like them' needs to be questioned, everyone needs to get fair chance to fulfill their ambitions and desires, as a society it is our responsibility to create such environment. Most of us agree to this statement but then it seems as a society our behavior doesn't match with this statement.

Sex is determined by DNA and gender is something how we present ourselves in society, it is not necessary for both to match. We are taught and conditioned how men or women should behave or conduct themselves in society. We are taught what is masculine and what is feminine, based on this conditioning we develop our own perception about our own gender and also try to define other's gender. This perception and stereotyping also decides what we call normal and what we consider as abnormal. We are also trained to reject or denounce or stay away from these so called abnormal people. Most of us follow all these traditions or rules without even giving any serious thoughts or considerations. Many of us fail to question many of these definitions which are passed on to us by our society. We follow them as part of tradition or culture, we never bother to check their relevance or validity. Once anything whether it is good or bad becomes a part of tradition or culture stays there for long time. Many societies also develop some protective attitude towards such traditions as they consider it as a integral part of their identity. This is one of the main reason why many people hesitate to question these things openly. I agree that it is not easy to challenge or fight against long practicing traditions or rituals but if they are wrong someone needs to do this. But the problem is that there is not very conducive environment in most societies which can encourage questioning or dissent, rather few who dare to question have to face many hostile reactions. Transgenders are victims of such wrong traditions and misconceptions. According to me we all are transgenders in some way or other. We all possess unique set of qualities, there is no defined set of masculine and feminine qualities which are exclusive to any one particular sex. Variety of feelings or characteristics can be found in both sexes. We all are sensitive, tough, stupid or intelligent, fearless or cowardice, strong or weak, introvert or extrovert our gender doesn't define these things. We all are capable of displaying feelings of tenderness, vulnerability, fear, jealousy, envy to different extent on different occasions. So technically we all can call ourselves as transgenders as we display all these feelings which are normally classified as masculine or feminine qualities. We just don't fit into that stereotyped definition of 'transgender' which people have created by combining some emotional and physical characteristics. But just because some people show physical or emotional characteristics of both sexes more than others we should not label them as abnormal. These people are as normal as any of us, just may be not as common as many of us. They are in minority but that doesn't mean they don't deserve equal rights and recognition. We need to remove this prejudice and bias, we all need to recognize our own transgenderness to acknowledge that there is nothing wrong or abnormal in it. Most common doesn't necessarily mean normal and uncommon doesn't always mean abnormal. Let's remove these barriers and become more inclusive society where every individual is accepted regardless of their gender or sex. Let's start from ourselves, let's embrace and understand our fellow humans irrespective of their gender, sex, religion, race or any other thing which we use to categorize. Let's show love and respect towards each other, after all we all are humans. 

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

1 comment:

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