The future is non-binary. Following Article 377 being scrapped in 2018, India has slowly started accepting its queer community. Even if there is a much longer way to go before society normalizes them. However, we may have already started tiny steps in the right direction. Earlier this week, Telangana got its first two transgender clinics. The two trans clinics are part of the Union government’s plans to have exclusive transgender clinics in different metro cities. This plan is part of the mandated in the Transgender Persons Act of 2019. Kicking off the initiative, Hyderabad got two clinics with the reach expected to extend to other parts of India soon.
Trans activist Rachana Mudraboyina tells Telangana Today that Hyderabad was chosen as the starting point, perhaps due to the HIV prevalence among transgender people in Hyderabad being higher. “The HIV prevalence among transgenders here is 6.47 per cent compared with the national average of 3.13 per cent. India is a partner in the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) shared objectives on health outcomes and partners with the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) to eradicate AIDS by 2030. The USAID Accelerate project too is providing technical assistance to NACO in its efforts," said Mudraboyina.
“The Hyderabad Transgender Community Clinic very well fits into the USAID’s mission and objectives of the Accelerate project to prevent HIV and support antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment services among transgenders. The clinic also strives to improve the socioeconomic status of the community and take care of overall wellbeing," she adds.
The two clinics opened in 2021 - the first in Narayanguda on January 29 and the second on July 11 in Jeedimetla. The second clinic was inaugurated by drag artist, Sushant Divgikar. In an Instagram post, the reality TV star shared the news. Along with a picture featuring the transgender doctors, counsellors, psychologists, community outreach workers and heterosexual allies, Divgikar wrote that the clinic was “funded and supported by @johnshopkinsu."
The clinic is completely led by trans representatives, and welcomes any member of the community under the larger umbrella: from hijras, trans men, cross-dressers, gender non-conforming people, jogtis to shiva shaktis. The clinic takes care of general health services, guidance and medication on hormone therapy and gender affirmation procedures; mental health counselling; HIV/STI counselling, prevention and treatment services; legal aid and social protection services.