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Supreme Court: Transgenders a third category

Activists across country term verdict revolutionary

Transgenders should be treated as a third category and as a socially and economically backward class entitled to job reservation, the Supreme Court said yesterday.

Though activists termed the verdict ‘revolutionary’ they said social acceptance will take longer because of the stigma associated with them. Recognising transgenders as a third gender, the apex court bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice A K Sikri directed the central and state governments to include them for reservation in jobs and education.

Members of the transgender community in the city express their happiness after the Supreme Court judgment. Pics/PTI
Members of the transgender community in the city express their happiness after the Supreme Court judgment. Pics/PTI

The court also said both the governments would frame welfare schemes for them. “The judgment is good in terms of recognising us as the third gender, but the discrimination will continue (in society),” Shaila Jaan, a transgender, said. “Things will only change if the mentality of people towards us changes.

So social awareness and change in the education system, along with acceptance will definitely bring change.” The judgment also gave hope to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Filmmaker and gay rights activist Onir also welcomed the judgment. “This judgment also means hope to the LGBT community and we are hopeful to win that battle too,” Onir, who has directed movies like I Am and My Brother Nikhil, said.

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