Dhangadi/Pahichan – Dharma Raj Sharma (Malina) was 10 years old. She had a separate and dissimilar character. In her own words, she was a boy with distinctive talent. She feels hurt when she is called a boy. She used to be happy when she was called daughter-in-law. She did not know why she had different feelings.
It was very difficult to distinguish physical and emotional character at the age of 10. Dharmaraj Sharma, a permanent resident of Pawanagar of Dang District who was born in 2047 is now 25 years old.
When she grew her habits and character got changed. Like a small tree changes its form. 25 years ago burn as boy, she grew gradually becoming girl. However, she was not known about the actual reasons behind it.
She herself was not unknown about her changing habits. Society, friends, teachers and relatives gradually started to hurt her. Some people began to call her Chhaka, while others said Soltina and Kanchi.
However, she did not know what was meant by these words and she used to ask herself about it without any answer. She felt hurt when friends used such words to describe he and she used to feel that even god is not listening to her plight. The only option was to live with tears. “It is a discrimination and blame against me. It is interference to my individual freedom,” she used to think.
Social discrimination was also so frustrating and it was increasing like the temperature of water put on oven. Malina’s character was so changing. She found the characters of girl and she started to be attracted to girl. Unfortunately, it was not possible to live with girl because her appearance was like a boy.
Friends were known about her character. So she faced discrimination more from her own girlfriends. “People used to tease her while walking in the street as if she does not have any freedom.” “For all friends I was a mocking character, I used to go school very late to avoid embarrassment from my friends” she recalled her past.
One day, when Dharmaraj was studying in grade five. It used to take 45 minutes by foot to reach home. She was happy that she could go home without grilling from friends. She headed towards home. However, her happiness did not last for 45 minutes. A friend was waiting to tease her on her way to home. She reached home feeling very pain on that day. Dharmaraj passed grade eight from primary school of her village and she had to go another village to complete School Leaving Certificate (SLC) level.
She enrolled at Gyan Jyoti Secondary School. She also faced discrimination at new school. She also decided to commit suicide due to discrimination. “Even the school principal attempted to expel Dharmaraj inviting her father at school, one of my friends saved me,” she said. She also faced discrimination while acquiring high level education at Kathmandu.
With discrimination and increase in age, sexual interest was sprouted. She was interested with similar sex. She was not getting surprise to be attracted with similar sex. But there were not any answers. “When I grew, I was sexually attracted with same sex, even I did not know why this is happening,” she said.
Her life was totally changed when she was studying grade 11. For 22 years, she was compelled to live as boy but her live will be drastically changed. After few days, a new tenant came to the home she was living.
The man removed the thorn from Dharmaj’s life. At the initial days, two used to look at each other and there was formal introduction. When the new man invited her room for a tea, it was revealed that both were the staffs of BDS. Blue Diamond Society is working for the rights of gender and sexual minorities.
After the adjustment with BDS she was turned to Malina from Dharmaraj Sharma. She identified herself as third gender from the education she received from education, knowledge and experience from BDS. She also got the answer that was elusive for two decades.
She knew that due to the transgender he character is different from others. “I began to work with BDS and with identity she is now facing less discrimination in the society.” “After joining BDS I got my own world, I became happy because I met the several people like me. I understood about sexuality, gender and rights,” she said. The exposure increased her morale as well.
“Now I am totally free and ready to disclose my true identity,” she said. However, she continued to face discrimination from her family. Her family has not tolerated as she is wearing the dress of women. She is facing mental, social, financial and sexual discrimination.
So she still does not have courage to go to her village by bus fearing insult in bus. “It would have been happy if society has accepted to me,” she said stating that it is just an imagination. She went home in disguise of man.
He father did not even accept their greeting. Her father requested her to cut the hair but she was in dilemma: whether to respect to individual freedom or direction of father and mother. Ultimately she cut the hair.
But she failed to satisfy her father and herself. Even small children teased her saying Hijada. It was not Dashain festival to her but it was her terrible moment. She cursed the god. All people began to celebrate Dashain and there was a fanfare in her home.
But it was a painful time for Manila because she was feeling alone. Her mother said, “Due to the hair cut, this Kancho seems like a hijada.” Such words added pain to her. “However, my mother did not have knowledge about transgender and homosexual and I felt sad over the ignorance of my mother,” she said. She also faced difficulties to give the examination of public service commission to get government employment.
She also made up a mind of going abroad for government job. When she filled a form for open competition, another woman asked why she is not fighting from women quota. Now, she can work in society with her clear identity as transgender. She said transgender are yet to get respect and equal rights.
She committed that she would work for the welfare of family, society and nation. “We also need the love and care of society, family and nation, I have yet to convince my family. I am sure that I will create a positive environment for me, I will go home to this Dashain,” she said.