Bright sarees, garish makeup, artificial jewels, and, of course, the characteristic 'hizra' clap: more often than not, this is the image that first pops in most people's heads when a mention of the word "transgender" is made. And while popular media definitely needs to be blamed here, the truth is that society too has clung to its prejudices since forever now. This explains why every time someone tries to transcend the gender binary, they are subjected to incessant bullying and name-calling.
In fact, we are so stuck with our transphobia that even cis people who somehow transcend the basic gender roles, they are ridiculed, mocked, and tolled for it. And if that's the case with the cis-population, imagine the kind of trolling that trans and intersex people might have to endure on a day to day basis. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju is one such trans person who has been enduring and also fighting to educate these trolls on social media. For years now, she has been abused in her DMs and called all kinds of derogatory names. Well, not anymore.
Trinetra just finished her MBBS degree, is now a certified doctor and refuses to answer to any of these titles, "Ch*kka, tr*nny, f*ggot, m*ttha, k*jja, and countless other titles were awarded to me. This day forward, it's "Doctor," she announced on Instagram recently. Here's her post:
For those who might not know Trinetra, she is quite the Insta influencer, has a verified account, and uses her social media presence to educate people about trans struggles and identity. It was just earlier this year that she talked about how trans identity is constantly subjected to a confusing juxtaposition of hatred and desire with lecherous men sending her lewd messages and asking inappropriate questions.
"Trans bodies are all too familiar with this sort of thing - the juxtaposition of desire with a dearth of love, of desire with mind-numbing hate. The hate keeps you glued to the peripheries of this realm, but desire, sure as day, will still put food on your plate," she wrote.
Further talking about the insulting messages, she wrote "A trans person wields great power in being able to reclaim all that was intended to insult, to bend the rules, to push society's boundaries of empathy and understanding. I must, therefore, leave you with this - "Of course it is in your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?"
Through her Insta posts, Trinetra has been trying to convey the message that her gender isn't a whim or part of hallucinations, but very much a reality that society better makes peace with. “A child understands their gender around age 3, and I did too. I shouldn’t be punished and humiliated and scrutinised and measured and poked and prodded until you’re convinced,” she writes.
More power to you, Trinetra. Congratulations on showing them how it's done. Also, now that we are hearing it from a doctor, perhaps we can finally take the truth for what it is sans all our prejudices?