India: Trans community vote in one voice

On May 12, when 24-year-old transgender woman Nisha votes in the Lok Sabha election, “equal treatment” for her community will be on top of her mind.

Wearing a trendy round pair of sunglasses with mustard colour top tucked in her printed pants, Nisha was attending a transgender community meeting in Kashmere gate on Friday.

“Politicians should remember that the society does not comprise only of male and female persons. We too exist. We need equal opportunities in education and employment and equal treatment in society,” she said.

Having left her home in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut city in 2012, she lives with a toli (a group from the hijra community who perform at ceremonies) in Mangolpuri since .

“Just like any other young good looking woman I too can dream of walking the ramps and hit the silver screen. But, being a transgender it’s very difficult to even dream. Will any politician promise us equal opportunity? Can we dream at least?” said the modelling aspirant.

This is the first general election wherein transgender persons are casting their votes under their chosen gender identity after the Supreme Court had declared them as the “third gender” in 2014. Around 669 transgenders will exercise their franchise in Delhi, compared to 78,49,947 male and 64,21,283 female voters.

However, many transgenders are still forced to cast their votes under the male or female category after failing to rectify their gender in the documents. Read more via Hindustan Times