mid-day editorial: Aid the transformation, don't interrupt it
The curious case of Lalita Salve, a transgender constable from Beed district in Maharashtra, who wants to undergo sex reassignment surgery, has thrown the spotlight on the transgender community as a whole
The curious case of Lalita Salve, a transgender constable from Beed district in Maharashtra, who wants to undergo sex reassignment surgery, has thrown the spotlight on the transgender community as a whole. Salve's case has garnered huge publicity, especially because the constable is fighting to retain her place in the police force after she goes under the knife and becomes a man. This paper ran a report citing similar cases wherein trans individuals faced unique challenges.
A takeaway for the layperson from the Salve case should be better understanding of the transgender community. There's a need to display more understanding and empathy towards these individuals. Almost every member of this community has battled not just the society, but even their families to be where they are today. While their parents tried convincing some of them that it's just a phase, many others rushed trans people to doctors to 'cure' them with shock therapy. If they resist the 'normal' way of life, trans people are ostracised. It's a daily struggle for most of them to just be accepted. It's time to cut out ridicule and allow them to be what they want to be.
We need to strive, in our own way, to erase prejudices that society has against the trans community We should help them by offering them equal, if not better, opportunities in every segment of life, be it in terms of education, employment or housing. Indian cinema, especially Bollywood, should stop making caricatures out of trans people in films and portray them in a respectful light.
But, first and foremost, families of these trans individuals must stop shunning and shaming them. They say change begins at home. Let's accept trans people in our families so that no other Lalita Salve needs to fight murky battles for survival.