Male by body and Woman by feelings: Pain of being a transgender

Kathmandu/Pahichan –  Sunita K.C.(Name change) was born with a male body. But, in the process of growing up, feminine behaviour was being noticed. KC’s expression, way of behaving was feminine. Slowly, she also started to feel attraction to men. “I was born a male. So, I was raised up as a boy. But internally I felt as a girl”, K.C. said.

pinkyShe loves to wear feminine attire with her friends but she is afraid to do so. Therefore, she is compelled to wear gents attire. When she is away from her home, she wears ladies outfits that she wishes, but when she has to go home, she has no choice other than wearing gents dress. She is living in this internal conflict. She says, “It is very difficult to perform masculine roles in society when I feel as a woman”

It is not only outsiders that stigmatize her, but also her own family stigmatizes her. She has also been given mental pressure that she will be denied from her parental property, because her family thinks that she is a transwoman and will not marry a woman, and have babies. She has been pressurized to marry a woman if she wants her parental property. “I am not attracted to woman at all. How can I marry a woman just to get my parental property? How can I spoil her life? That’s why I came to Kathmandu”, she says.

She met many friends like her in Kathmandu and started sharing each other’s pain. Meanwhile, she also fell in love. She has got married as well.  Her family has no idea about her marriage. She is living in Kathmandu with her identity hidden. They don’t want to open up due to society’s ill behavior. And it is not so easy to open up as well. Due to disgrace, discrimination and violence by society, they have suppressed their feelings to themselves.

Similarly, Sirju Thapa of Palpa was restricted from school because she behaved as a woman being a male. Tears used to roll down from her eyes when she was termed with hateful terminologies. Her experience when school mates told, “This tranny must not be kept in our school” was heartbreaking and she dropped her school. She still secretly meets her mother. Her mother is threatened to be boycotted from the village society if Sirju goes there in feminine outfits. After villagers gave her mother mental torture, Sirju came to Kathmandu. She has great fear from the society if her parents would be out-casted from the society. It has been 15 years she has not stepped in her house during daylights.

In the same way, intersex person Eshan Regmi has different kind of pain. He is an intersex. Although Ishan was born with female sexual organs he also developed male characteristics. The way he was born and now he is completely different.

eshanPokhara’s Sophiya Lama is also a transwoman, who was born in male body. Now she walks in feminine attire and lives in rental house. She came to Pokhara from Gorkha due to lack of family support. The house keeper kicks her out, even in small issues. “It is even difficult to earn live hood. Paying rent is also too hard. They charge us double amount because we r trans.”, she says.

After the house-keeper came to know she is trans, her rental charge is increased in 6/6 months.

Pinky Gurung, chairman of Blue Diamond Society, was also born male. She realized that she was of feminine nature when she was 9 years old. She tried to pretend a lot as a man, but at least she could not do what she wasn’t. She slowly started to tell her parents her experience and by 29 she had came out with family. She was disrespected by family and had to face various challenges in the society.

Just because people are trans, they face numerous violence. Being transgender is not one’s choice, but by nature. Neither is this a disease nor an abnormality. Yet Nepalese society takes this in negative way. There are many blind faith and myths established in the society. We still have a cisnormative thinking.

Sexologist Doctor Subodh Kumar Pokhrel says, “It is natural. They are not apart from this society. It is not their lifestyle by choice.” “Although constitution says no one to be discriminated on the basis of gender, yet we face discrimination in every steps of life”, Bhumika Shrestha. She is also a transwoman working against discrimination to trans people. She was also sexually violated in her travel to abroad. Blue Diamond Society an organization that serves trans people has reported that there are about 7 to 8 lakhs trans people in contact. But according to survery of William organization, trans people are about 9 lakhs as per data.

In the new constitution, trans people have been rights to identity/recognition, equality and positive discrimination, but no laws are yet formulated for us. The status that transgender people get in all aspects of life, must be equally received by transgender people. Our voice is being strengthened.

Changing discriminative laws is also an important issue but the way society sees us should also be changed, which is equally challenging. Transgender people have more strongly come up and started to debate on establishment of their identity in the society. This does not mean that they no more face any mental torture.

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