As we witness a gradual improvement in the way members from the LGBTQ community are treated, there is a lot of hope associated with the number of success stories one comes across these days. A strong example of the same is entrepreneur Urooz Hussain, who hails from Bihar and has started a cafe in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida.
Urooz says the discrimination she had to face due to her gender strengthened her resolve to turn into her own boss so that she could come up above a judgmental system that looks down upon the trans people. Her cafe is named as ‘Street Temptation’ and Urooz wants to turn her venture into a successful financial business.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Urooz said, “I was subjected to harassment at my workplaces so I decided to start my own cafe that treats everyone equally. I hope this can inspire others from my community.”
Hussain is also the co-founder of ‘I Love Noida’, which is the first selfie point in Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh.
But Urooz knows she still has a long way to go and it will take a lot of time to educate people and eradicate the hardships her community faces from the general public.
Speaking to The Quint earlier, Urooz had lamented that the people even today, despite her running a restaurant, people still see her as a transgender before they notice the fact that she is an inspiring entrepreneur.
Elaborating on the the challenges in her journey, Urooz told The Quint how even though she was born a boy, she started feeling differently while growing up when she realised how her feelings were akin to a girl. The male relatives in the family did not make things easier, Urooz says, who constantly kept up a barrage of bullying as she started questioning her sexual identity.
With her family constantly trying to make her behave a certain way, Urooz had to fight off the restrictions imposed on her all throughout her growing years. She finally left home in 2013 and moved to Delhi.
Hussain did hospitality, industrial training, and multiple jobs before she finally became her own boss. “The cafe is harassment-free for all genders, they don’t have to face what I have been through. It is to make my parents proud for having me," Hussain said.
However, a few challenges are still there." We face issues when we hire people for the cafe. I knew that if I lose courage, I will break and I did not want to break," Urooz said.
She also helped sex workers, their children in COVID-19 lockdown. At the same time, Urooz’s cafe ‘street temptations’ at Sector 119 serves Indian-Chinese food.
There have been recently many popular figures coming out as transgenders, which makes one believe that our society is on its way to become much more accepting of people from the trans community. Earlier this month, Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page, the star of Juno, Inception and The Umbrella Academy, came out as transgender in an announcement. Page announced he is a gender non-binary transgender person in a heartfelt social media message.
Better representations of LGBTQ and transpersons have a lot to achieve much more in our society and even in pop-culture examples. One of the most stark examples of wronfgul representations seems to be the recently released Akshay Kumar starrer Laxmii (previously Laxmmi Bomb) that left few impressed. The film provoked ire from the audiences, both queer and otherwise. Many from the LGBTQIA community have alleged that the film yet again perpetuates stale and derogatory stereotypes that Bollywood has usually associated with trans women.
(With inputs from ANI)