All of us are quite aware of the fact that the 21st century has TRANSformed the whole world way beyond our imaginary skills could reach. What seemed to be a criminal act decades ago, either does not exist as a matter of fault or have been uprooted from our current standards of living. (E.g. Widow Remarriage, Sati etc.) But there are a few that still exist to create gargantuan changes in our peaceful life. One such thing that couldn’t be uprooted is “Transphobia” (Fear of transsexual/ transgender).
The Trans Woman and I
Transphobia is something usual, as the cinema and the real life incidents prove to be a great example. But, not all of them will be harmful. The Trans woman I met in the bus was serene, pretty and very usual. In fact, I myself was a little doubtful whether she was one, until I heard her speaking to someone over the phone.
She had thin lips, big eyes lined with black kohl and very prominent vermilion on her forehead.
For a moment, she appeared to me like an angel. Angel who would talk in my mother tongue. I didn’t really overhear her conversation, but one word which accidentally reached my ears, made me realize that she spoke Tamil. While I was completely immersed into the motherly beauty of this Trans woman, I realized grave silence prevailing throughout the bus. A few of my co-passengers were whispering something into their neighbor’s’ ears while a few were into their own world just like the other days.
This made me think of the patriarchal background we come from. The way we see the third gender, those eyes full of hatred or fear made me think of plethora of theories and articles that I had ever come across.
History and its scars
Basically, history has an incredible power of leaving scars via human beings or different forms of art. The history of transgender marked its origin from the late 1900s. It has left a remarkable scar too. Christine Jorgensen was the first transgender who made headlines in 1954 on changing her sex. The kinsmen and the society wanted men to remain as men and, women as women. Any traces of shifting the roles were severely punished. The aftermath of the oppression to the whole Trans community was unimaginably disturbing. This made them choose the wrong way. That was how they fell into the trap of prostitution, begging, kidnapping etc. This ultimately led to severe epidemic like aids which spread across. It also opened the way to create hatred and fear among the others.
The concept of becoming viral
The scar is deep and hasn’t healed yet. In order to announce the world how dangerous the transgenders were, they installed the ‘fear virus’ in them. Anything that deals with the society seems to be contagious and that’s what shapes the social life and personal beliefs of human beings. If one can just give an idea of what transphobia is and why it is so fearful, the other will easily get trapped with that thought and gradually develop fear or prejudice within them. That is how the whole society works. This is supposed to be a shaky origin of the concept of anything becoming viral. They did not adopt any special technique to implant their belief into others’ minds. It was a simple way of telling one’s fear to the other. Fear, when discussed, will slowly get nailed to your subconscious memory. So this might also be the reason for the co-passengers in the bus to be a little hesitant to think her as one of them.
A remarkable conversation that broke the chains of patriarchy
Apart from all the reasons that I tried to recollect when I witnessed the whole scene in the bus, my eyes did not skip any chance of glancing at her.
I was eager to proclaim her that she looked extremely pretty. But I was also not an exception, as I too come from the same patriarchal background as the others.
I was hesitant to tell her because of the fear that withheld me from telling her the truth. Somehow, I gathered my courage to tell her that how beautiful she looked. As my place was just 3 minutes away, I approached her and said,
“I haven’t met a woman who is as pretty as you”. For a moment I felt like a handsome hero proposing a beautiful woman, in one of those Gautam Menon movies.
She went numb, her eyes were brimming with tears… and she wished me luck. Honestly, this incident made my day. One for her blessings and the other, that I broke the chains of patriarchy. Voila! I did it!
Here, is a dedication to all the transgenders who are creating history. Do check it out!