Transgenders: A marginalised and stigmatized community all across the globe finds no respite in this part of the world as well.
Our online editor Umran Hussain contacted one transgender living in Srinagar Kashmir. Khushi, as she likes to call herself, didn’t reveal her original name as she doesn’t want to recall her childhood which has been a very depressing journey for her. While talking to Umran, Khushi had some shocking stories to narrate.
“Until I was about four or five I didn’t know I wasn’t a girl, to be honest with you. One of my earliest memories, about five years old, was being yelled at by a teacher for going to the toilet with the girls. About the same age I realised I was different to these other boys. At the age of nine I refused to have my hair cut. I didn’t have it cut until I was 16, because having it cut was such a torment to me.” Said Khushi.
Khush’s days in school have left some unforgettable scars in her memory as she says, “School was extremely difficult. I got bullied a lot. I was picked on for being too thin, for being feminine, for not liking sports, for hanging round with girls, for having long hair. They mocked everything they could think of in terms of gender and sexuality.”
“On a day-to-day basis I don’t tell people I’m transgender. The thing about trans people is, we feel very normal. It’s the way we are, it’s only when people say you’re not normal that you feel that way.” Said Khushi.
Khushi says that she has always been extremely feminine, “I always felt that way. I can’t say that I ever felt like a boy, I just had to live as a boy for the first 16 years of my life.”
“Trans people are the same as everyone else, our ideals in life are to be happy, to be respected, to be comfortable. I’ve had people who have openly said to me that they’ve had prejudices around trans people but as soon as they’ve met me they’ve understood more – it’s who I am and the way that I was born. There’s no real difference between myself and people who are transgender.” Said Khushi.
Khushi is a name that was making rounds on social media in the month of March 2021 when a viral video on social media platforms showed a man passing comments on a girl and later assaulting her. “It was me in the video, he abused me and later assaulted me.” Said Khushi while narrating the truth behind that viral video. h
The video was originally shot on 25th of March 2021 on boulevard road, on the banks of Dal.
The victim Khushi Meer, revealed that on that unfortunate day she and her friend were on a walk when an unknown man started following them, while following, the man as per Khushi kept on hurling abuses and passed comments on both of us.
“Things soon took an ugly turn, first I requested the man not to abuse us on which he again passed a lewd remark for which I slapped him.” Said Khushi while talking to The Kashmir Radar correspondent.
The man in question can be seen slapping her too and trying to toss her to the ground.
“People instead of holding the man back, started shooting the video, they were laughing and nobody talked in our favour.” Said Khushi.
That unfortunate incident had pushed Khushi into mental trauma.
“It took me about a month to come out of that trauma, the humiliation I faced, not because I indulged into a fight but the response and reaction of the people who watched us and shot the video.” Khushi broke down while narrating her ordeal.
Interestingly, Khushi is pursuing her graduation and is a social worker too. Known as a kind hearted person in her community, Khushi has taken a crusade to help all the transgenders in the valley.
“I do whatever I can for my community, I visit them especially in those tough times because most of them have no means of income and most of them face a lot of difficulties. We are a stigmatized community, a marginalised one and we feel nobody but we ourselves can help each other.” Said Khushi.
“You don’t have to understand a persons identity to respect it. Some people haven’t heard a lot about transgender identity, or have trouble understanding what it means to be trans, and that’s okay. But all people, even those whose identities you don’t fully understand, deserve respect. We live in a Muslim society and Islam never teaches us disrespecting anyone based on caste or gender. Whenever I help anyone, I never ask him his religion, cast or gender.” This is what Khushi wants to convey to all those people who seem to be ignoring the fact that if our Creator doesn’t discriminate, who are we to do so.