'Leave us to live with dignity'

'Leave us to live with dignity'

“We too have emotions and have dreams of living with family members. What can we do if we are disowned by our family.  We beg for our livelihood,” said Rani, a transgender and president of sexual minority group. The members were interacting with children at ‘Aata pata makkala santhasa kalika’ summer camp, organised by Bajal Yuvaka Mandala at Pakkaladka here on Wednesday.

Rani said “we do not have ration cards or voters identity card. None are ready to employ us. Even while renting out a house, the owners think twice. Hence, begging is a necessity for us.

We need ration card, voters ID and security in employment.” Discussing problems related to sexual minorities, Rani said “I was born as a boy called Raghavendra, but later realised I felt more like a female. Watching my unusual behaviour, the parents almost disowned me.” Unable to bear the insult and the confused state of her identity, Rani left home.  

“There are thousands like me who are caught in this trap of sexuality and are unable to express themselves as society does not accept them.  The government and society at large has to look at the plight of us,” she said.

To a query by children on curse by transgenders, Rani said many a time public misbehave with the transgenders. “I was angry in public place when a police constable asked me to sit near the toilet in the moving train. I had scolded him and pushed him. Transgenders do not curse anyone at any circumstances” They said that it is a belief that by clapping, transgenders can appease the Goddess.

 “I have studied upto fifth standard. I wanted to live like any human. However, my family members did not allow me to do so. Hence my education was discontinued. Those transgenders who want to continue their education, I help them out,” Rani and Anitha added.

“None of the transgenders would like to work as sex workers. Even after begging for a whole day, we get about Rs 200. Many indulge in the act for money,” Rani added.