SOL – Say Out Loud
No one can measure how challenging life for a transgender except a transgender himself. Who can imagine how terrible it is to be part of the most oppressed community of the world. Commonly considered as a stigma, a taboo, we usually turn our heads in a different direction considering them freaks. ‘Normal’ beings with softer hearts and sensitive sides do feel sorry for them but what else can be done about that.
Over the years many NGO’s have worked for the betterment of these rejected beings and we have heard some amendments in laws and some measures taken to recognize them as our own as compared to the previous practice – that was to keep them off limits as untouchables. But unfortunately these laws and amendments remain only on paper and nothing prolific was done to improve their living conditions let alone quota for decent jobs for them. But, before cursing the government policies of not facilitating this rejected and dejected group of outcasts, ask yourself a question.
Are we as members of this society ready to accept them in the course of our normal lives? Are we ready to embrace them as equals and ready to give them equal opportunities to educate them and earn a decent living by decent means? Are we ready to picture them in something else except draped in a bright flashing clothes, gold earrings and painted nails? Above all are we ready to stand up for them.
Getting a hair cut from a transgender at a salon can be a truly gratifying experience for some as it is heartwarming to see this community exploring their potential and doing mainstream jobs but alas! You can’t ignore women rolling eyes, signalling each other with discreet movements of their on fleek eyebrows, making harsh comments under their breath and some even requesting the management to tell someone else to cater to their needs.
What should we suggest to parents of these children whose gender identity does not conform to their biological sex: own as as their own, raise and educate them, help them becoming a productive part of this society or let them land into the arms of a guru, or mentor, within a community of like-minded souls, who wear bling and make-up and do what they are supposed to do. Of course, sensible and educated will go with the first three options. But let’s first learn to accept them. It is not the matter of raising them as normal children and educate them but to ACCEPT them. Support those who do not let them leave homes for ghettos and eventually end up being invited to bestow blessings at births and dance at weddings.
Parents and immediate families can only be brave enough to do this if the society will start to accept their identity. Not like recently when a mother and a young boy entered a famous food chain, the boy who not a chauvinist and macho as in a traditional sense but some of the politest and well-mannered being I have seen. His mother went upstairs and he started to order his food before the girl on the till said, “Aur kuch madam?” I could have easily ignored the slip of tongue but the audacity of the girl was that she kept laughing for good 30 to 40 seconds under her peecap. The boy in the meanwhile kept waiting and once the girl stopped laughing continued with his payment, not forgetting his Thank yous. I loved the way he kept his cool and the way he said ‘Please’ before the order and ‘Thank you’ after the order was complete and that again in the sweetest manner.
Here his parents managed to complete their duty with flying colours and the society kept the dark face and unfortunately so did I. As the boy went upstairs to join his mother, I did not stand up immediately to take his side, I did not give that girl a piece of my mind, a lesson on how to treat customers indiscriminately. I was not bold enough to ignore the thought that my concern might create a scene. But I was wrong; things so deeply rooted in our society would not change if we do not voice our concerns and register our concerns. I have regretted enough but with with a vow to speak when it is most important to speak.
LOL is not for every situation but SOL is. SAY OUT LOUD!
Written By Samara Salahuddin | Animated video by CFx Comics | Cover Image: thedolphinlmc.com