Transgenders Of India: Accepted By Law, Discriminated By Society

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Image Via YourStory

Since 2014, the Supreme Court of India legally recognized transgenders (commonly known as hijras) as the third gender. More importantly, it requested the government to provide them with educational and employment opportunities just like other minorities. Giving transgenders the rights they deserve has been a huge step forward for us.

However, society’s attitude and treatment towards them is as regressive and inhumane as ever. What a shocker. NOT. Laws can be changed overnight but it takes years for hate to turn into understanding and then acceptance. What helps speed up the process is when big organizations step forward and change their outdated policies. Sadly, that’s not been the case so far. And if things continue to be this way, this blind hate, ignorance, and discrimination are going to be around for a long, long time.

Take the case of Shanavi, a capable engineer, actor, and model who wanted to be part of Air India’s cabin crew.

Being intelligent and able, this should have been a shoo-in for her. But because of her “abnormal” gender identity, Air India denied her employment. She has been trying to get in since 2016 and till date has been rejected four times. Finally, she found out that they couldn’t hire her even though she is eligible as they don’t have a recruitment policy for transgenders. Tired of fighting for basic human rights, Shanavi wrote a letter to the President of India, Ramnath Kovind, pleading for mercy killing.

I can’t understand how anyone can behave as if ethics don’t exist anymore.

Unethicality aside, what Air India did is also illegal.

The Supreme Court’s ruling stands to this day. Yet even after four years, Air India hasn’t bothered to change their hiring policy. Even a notice from the Supreme Court last year has been blatantly ignored. It sounds unreal, right? I wish it were.

And how do I know this is true? Well, earlier this week, I got an email to sign a Change.org petition to help her out. Now, to be honest, I don’t open all my emails because there’s just too much in my inbox everyday. But this jumped out at me and I had to read and support it, productivity be damned.

It’s heartbreaking how people think it’s okay to mistreat and ostracize anyone who is not “normal”. It might have been a common thing in the past, but we cannot tolerate such villainy and discrimination today.

So go on, sign the petition so that Shanavi and all trans people in India get the dignity they deserve –

Air India: Make third gender category part of recruitment policy by the end of 2018

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