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The LGBT community in India has been fighting for their rights for a long, long time. It’s time we discarded hatred, starting with home.
Did you know Akkai Padmashali has become the first transgender person to be awarded a honorary doctorate degree in Bengaluru? It is time we respect the ‘third gender’ and give them their due! Stop imparting half-baked information to your children and kill the hatred!
The LGBT community in India has been fighting for their rights for a long long time. Not just with the constitution regarding the Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code which goes back to as early as 1860 but also facing the ire of the prejudiced world on a day to day basis.
Think about it, are we the ones prejudicing our children against them? As parents, are we responsible for colouring the vision of our children? Are we bringing them up to hate the LGBT community in India?
Shaming them by calling them names like ‘hijras’, ‘khusra’, ‘queer sex’ or terms like ‘gay hain saala’ are all for your children to see. The impressionable mind of the child absorbs it all and without really knowing the right or wrong, the child literally ‘inherits’ this hatred from you.
We tend to provide random ‘passed on’ information to our children without really knowing much about the subject. For instance,
‘They do not have normal private parts’.. without realizing.. it is normal for them!
‘They are unnatural’ without realizing.. that ‘natural’ is often subjective!
‘No two men or two women can fall in love normally’.. yet again.. it is normal for them!
Our definition of normal may not be the correct one and could be a result of the same stories meted out to us from our parents. But, as parents of this century, awareness is just a click away. If you feel that you cannot change your thought process at your stage, at least, let your child form his opinion on the matter.
It is a common practice for the transgenders of India to visit households on special occasions like marriages or child birth and ask for money. Do we leave them with any option? Job opportunities are not freely available for them and they have to either end up begging or in a brothel for earning money for sustenance.
Coming back to the point.. what happens when they come to our house? The first thing we do is to send our children away from their ‘evil eye’. We dissuade them to not have any kind of conversation with them and try to limit their exposure to transgenders. They, in turn, think that they are the same as the criminals you warned your child about!
The same happens if you happen to meet a gay couple or lesbians who are ok to talk about their relationship or open about it. Some protective parental instinct in you makes you feel that your children may get influenced by them and in turn become gay/lesbians. Where is the logical mind at that time? Why does it not guide you?
At railway stations, red light crossings or maybe at the market.. you see many transgenders begging for a living. Their approach towards us is just that of any other beggar but our approach drastically changes. While we may not give in to a ‘normal’ beggar asking for alms, but the moment you see a transgender approaching, you pull out the money and readily pass it across.
Again, limiting the exposure? Avoiding the curse that they may put upon you for not giving them alms? Preventing your children to notice too many details about them? Running away from questions that your child may ask?
The world is evolving.. the society is evolving.. it is time our beliefs evolve too!
Ruchi Rajan is a woman on a mission of self-discovery.
An avid reader since
Ruchi another article from you worth a deep thought! These are exactly the way each one us treat them!
We have to change and it should come from each one of us!!
A great read!!
Thats true Vibha.. We have to ensure that we do not pass on our prejudices to our children
Ruchi , excellent article and I am very proud of the fact that I have taught my 11 year old son to respect this third gender . In fact,in Mumbai close to our home, there is a traffic signal on which these transgenders come to ask for money and my son has seen how I respond to them with respect and dignity . In fact, just last week, when they were not to be seen one day, my son very innocently asked me ‘ Mom, why is your friend not there today ‘? And I knew my job was well done 🙂
So proud of your Rachana.. we need more mothers like you and more children like your son.. Your son is the major influence maker here as he will pass on this sentiment to his friends and peer circle too!
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