Alleging apathy and discrimination by government officials, a trans-woman staged a protest on the Collectorate premises on Monday.
S. Swapna said that officials from the Directorate of Government Examinations, Tamil Nadu had turned down her request for a name and gender change in her class 10 and Plus Two mark statements.
“I underwent a sex reassignment surgery in 2011 following which I changed my name and had it registered in the government gazette. I had petitioned the Directorate of Government examinations asking for a change of name in my school mark sheets and was shocked when I received a reply from them stating that it was against the rules to do so,” Ms. Swapna stated.
Ms. Swapna had recently cleared the TNPSC group IV examinations.
“Since I haven’t been allowed to change my name and gender in my school certificates, I am asked inappropriate questions when I go for certificate verification and job interviews about my gender and identity,” she also alleged.
“We already have a tough time securing job opportunities and complications like this make it worse. Even for a small change in our certificates, we are made to run around,” she rued.
She said that she had submitted numerous petitions as well as posted her grievances on the ‘Collector Madurai’ facebook page but no solution had been offered.
After blindfolding herself, Ms. Swapna sat near the entrance of the Collectorate building and insisted to meet the District Collector to get her grievance redressed. She then proceeded to stage a road blockade and sat outside the Collectorate.
Gopi Shankar, an LGBT activist and founder of ‘Srishti Madurai,’ who had accompanied Ms. Swapna said that issues pertaining to minorities had not been addressed efficiently by the district administration officials.
“There have been numerous instances of crimes against trans-people in Madurai, Theni and Tuticorin which have gone unnoticed. Being a miniscule community, they should be lent enough support by the authorities,” he said.