The early years of playing with kitchen set and dolls, the first abuse experience at the age of 3, the bully and harassment in school and the subsequent years of sexual relationship with an older man, the repeated calling out in my society and the first transwomen friends I came to befriend culminated in shaping the initial journey as a transwoman in Shillong.
After being stared at in the ladies compartment in the metro, after hearing people sneering behind your back and wondering aloud whether you are a woman or man, after being questioned whether you belonged in the women’s toilet, you tend to develop a thick skin. I wonder sometimes, what makes people forget that I am a human being, whose feelings could possibly be hurt, who more than anything just wants to be accepted. In a country where people talk about unity in diversity, where is the sense of diversity in everyday life?
Then the scariest of thoughts haunt us; who will look after us when we are in death bed in future. Given the scarcity of choices and means, we sincerely wish to convey to the society that we will take up whatever works we can get hold of, without being choosy or difficult about it. Because choice when it comes to livelihood is still a luxury many of us can’t afford at the moment.
Indeed, there is no sense of exigency when Transgender people are attacked, these liberal establishments would also not take the responsibility for exposing us to more violence. Trans people are not just a discourse. We are people with more complex and diverse experiences. We are real people with emotions and feelings.
But love is too pure to be judged or criminalised, love has no gender or age, social or family barriers. When love is too pure between two souls no religion, culture, race, tradition or law can harm it. So be who you are, and love whom you love without shame. I have realised that this is the way to live a happy life.
One thing about being a queer in northeast India is the peculiar nature of this coming out process. Because our parents are still neck deep in the muddy slime of bigotry and prejudice, we are forced to substitute the closet for something else. For us, coming out is not necessary. Living in big cities, partying and sex offers a sort of escape from the suffocating atmosphere of home. Hence, our coming out of the closet is the free life that we are living which no one at home need to know.
Every time I mentioned about death, my girlfriend told me, “I don’t like that word and I never consider you as a transman. Deep in my heart, I idolize you as a real man, so don’t be disheartened, instead be courageous, and strive to be not lesser than anyone.”