'I Still Write M on ID Cards': An IIT Graduate Shares Experience of What it's Like to be Transgender in India

'I Still Write M on ID Cards': An IIT Graduate Shares Experience of What it's Like to be Transgender in India

Existing in a gender-conforming society isn't as easy as you would think it is.

Raka Mukherjee
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: July 19, 2018, 11:59 AM IST
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What is it like to be a transgender in India?

For Anamika, who goes by the Twitter handle @anasmusings, growing up in a traditional setup meant she faced uncertainty about her true identity. She chose to mask it by focusing on academics and got into IIT-Kharagpur. Now, she works as a data scientist. But did it make it any easy for her?

On Wednesday, Anamika took over the Genderlog India Twitter handle to talk about her experiences.

Despite the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in 2014 where they recognised the “third gender”, Anamika continues to write 'M' (to represent male) on all her identity cards.  "I still have a 'M' on all my identification," she said.

Anamika said it was a 'confusing experience' for her to grow up in a heteronormative society.

"When you live in a society that ostracizes everyone and everything different, you start doubting yourself. Throughout my childhood I was ashamed of myself, and believed I deserved to be inferior than others," she tweeted.

The feeling of inferiority led to self abuse and suicidal thoughts.

Anamika then talks about getting into one of the most prestigious universities in the country--IIT. She said that going to IIT was a 'privilege' for her and helped her grow. However, it didn't come without hardships. In an earlier interview with Indian Express, Anamika had said how her life had become more difficult in a place where she thought she would be accepted. "I had to hide myself from everyone, and still be visible," she had said.  But things changed for her when she started working. 

However, there's still that unavoidable 'M' problem-- the gender she doesn't identify with.

A lot of government mandated identification still doesn't have 'other' as an option in the gender category. So, trans people are forced to choose either 'Male' or 'Female' even if they do not identify with either one.

Anamika then talks about her workplace environment and what Indian companies should be doing to provide support.

But outside of office, in the public space, she is often asked to 'prove' that she is a woman. 

She talks about the fears of a trans person.

So how do we change the mentality? This is what Anamika suggests.

She then talks about her experience of dating as a trans woman.

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