An Indian transgender asks an uncomfortable question
Dear hijras, kothis, jogapas, marladis, shivshaktis, homosexual men, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, demisexual, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, an honor, a privilege to be here today.
00:33People said, I'm black, I'm not a woman. They are always worried about, whatever dress I wear, whatever food I eat. I'm not bothered about the society. I'm just bothered about my identity. Society has made certain norms, certain rules and regulations. When you stand against those rules and regulations, you are excommunicated. You are excommunicated.
01:10I'm not hurt, when my father my parents, poured hot water on my legs. I was not hurt when my family threw me out of the family institution. I was not hurt, when my friends, they sexually harassed me. I was not hurt, when my police people took me to the police station and charged false cases against me.
01:41I'm not hurt, when I was raped. I'm not hurt, when the society threw stones, eggs, tomatoes or cow-dunk against me. But, I'm hurt, I'm disappointed, the same, Indian Penal Code, Section 377 said, "All sexual minorities are criminals before the country."
02:09Why am I a criminal? Living in 21st century, with pride and dignity, I say that I'm a black beauty. I don't, I don't conform by the social constructed norms. I'm a woman without vagina. I'm a woman without uterus.I am a woman without breasts. I'm a woman without periods.
02:37I challenge the patriarchal male society norms, rules and regulations. I do claim, with pride and dignity. I'm a woman with this identity. Someone was asking, who is this madam? Totally covered, not showing her body. I show my body, when I sleep next to my partner. Who is this woman?
03:08So many people were escorting me. I said, this song comes to my mind,
"I born as male. My feelings changed. When I was 8 years, my feelings were feminine. I started behaving like a girl. I started walking like a girl. I started dressing like a girl, when my parents forced me to stop myself, when my parents forced me to stop myself, I was beaten up, I was locked up, I was beaten up, I was locked up. I was tortured by my parents, my schoolmates, my college-mates, my friend circle, my neighbor, started teasing me. Like chakka, like wombat, like sangha something something. I joined to work, colleagues came to know me. I'm feminine. They started teasing, they started blaming, they started sexually harassing there was nobody to ask these things. I started doing sex work, I started doing sex work, I did for 4 years. I was not very happy. This kind of..torture, violence, harassment is not faced only by me.
05:08There are other transgenders, who face a similar problem.
Where to live, where to share, where to express, where to survive life? You should tell us, you should tell us you should tell us what to do." Thank you!
We live in 21st century, we don't know the basic concept of sex, gender, sexuality. When you speak the work 'sex', it is prejudiced. Its unspoken terminology. What is sex? What is gender? What is sexuality?
06:51Sex is an art. 3 beautiful letters, and one word. Why so much prejudice to speak about sex? What is gender? Based on your sex, while you take birth. The social constructed norms assign to you certain categories, you'll have to follow it. When you're not practicing that social constructed norms, you're crossing the boundary. You are against your culture, religion, tradition etc. Then, you are socially excluded.
07:23You are socially excommunicated. What does sexuality mean? Two individual persons right to privacy. Be it homosexual, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual many sexuality comes under. When one section,
07:41I feel very disappointed to speak about this, we live in 21st century and we still struggle for identity, bread, butter, clothing, housing, education, employment, marriage, adoption, inheritance and majority deciding for minorities. Why should majority decide against minorities? And, who gave you the power to decide for minuscule minorities? If you're taking that strong objection, of you wanting to decide for minorities, I take a strong objection, who gave you the authority for that?
08:20The 'so called' men born with penis cannot dominate against a woman, a 'so called' woman who is born with a vagina, or the penis, cannot dominate against this section who are being totally excluded, marginalized, oppressed, socially excluded, socially rejected. Why are we seeing this injustice in society? Is it marriage first, or is it identity first?
I stand for identity.
08:54In 21st century, the whole society has a problem. If you wear skirt, there is a problem. If you eat beef, there is a problem. If you're a dalit, there is a problem. If you're a minority category, there is a problem. If you're a majority, the society accepts you in a 'so called'..compromising your patriarchal notion. I am against communalism. I'm against fundamentalism. I am against globalization. I'm against sexist. I'm against anti-feminist thinking. I still believe. I'll strongly do stand for what is called socialism and secularism.
09:33In 21st century, the whole society has a problem. If you wear skirt, there is a problem. If you eat beef, there is a problem. If you're a dalit, there is a problem. If you're a minority category, there is a problem. If you're a majority, the society accepts you in a 'so called'..compromising your patriarchal notion. I am against communalism. I'm against fundamentalism. I am against globalization. I'm against sexist. I'm against anti-feminist thinking. I still believe. I'll strongly do stand for what is called socialism and secularism.
10:05The Delhi High Court in 2009 said consensual sex between adults in privacy is not punishable. The judgement did not speak about sex, it spoke about person's dignity in context of sexual minorities. The religious fundamentalists, who oppose before the honorable Supreme Court, after 4 and a half years, before that, lakhs and lakhs of people came on the streets and celebrated our freedom, our victory, and said, "We're proud to be what we are."
10:36After 4 and a half years, what happened, maybe some of you know that. The honorable Supreme Court of India said,No. No. Delhi High Court judgement is unconstitutional. And you're a minuscule minority, Section 377 will be referred to, by the Indian Parliament. What happened in the Parliament? Unanimously, the MPs rejected the human sexuality, and human gender identities are concerned.
11:03My question to the Indian Parliament, why did you reject sexuality, and gender issues concerned? Honorable Prime Minister, break your silence. Why did India take a neutral stand in the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting? To form an anti-discrimination law, where gender orientation or sexual orientation is concerned, Why did India take a neutral stand? The largest democracy in the world, crossing 130 crores of the population, I shall say this, I came here, all the way from Bangalore, to be part of Josh Talks, to say this word,"Being a person..we cannot belong to one city, one road, one region, one state, one country. As a youth, its a sense of responsibility, and we need to be down to the world population, whatever happens across the world, across the globe..that's our issue.
12:06How do we stand together for a just and non-discriminatory world? Envision a just society, for what we are and I'm proud to be what I'm here for today. And I represent the 10% of the Indian population, who is talking about sexuality and gender. I have a request for all of you. Can I place my request? Do you discriminate any person who is a non heterosexual or a non gender conformist? If such a person, you see on the street, do you tease them? If you've done that, its against social justice. Any communities, who are being dejected based on our class, caste, region, religion, gender, sexuality, language, ethnicity- that's against humanity and social justice.
13:07Lets stand together, for a just society and ensure that, judge not, support gender identity, judge not, support sexual diversity. Thank you, happy to be here today again. Thank you so much, thank you!
An Indian transgender asks an uncomfortable question
Akkai Padmashali, a transgender activist from Bangalore, asks why sexual activity ‘against the order of nature’ is a crime in 21st century India. She goes on to share a song about her ordeal of fighting for her gender, and points to the extreme difficulties that the LGBT community face in India. At a broader level, she questions the morality of a majority sitting in judgment upon the preferences of minority communities.