April 15, 2014 is the day those from a section of marginalised community will never forget. It was on that day the Supreme Court changed the destiny of transgenders, recognising them as third genders, fixing responsibility on the Centre and the State governments to take care of their welfare measures.

Those who participated in the national-level ‘Miss Trans Queen’ beauty pageant, hosted recently in the city, shared their mixed emotions with The Hindu and hoped that their muted sufferings will find a new expression.

The transgenders now believe that it will be fresh life, away from discrimination, neglect and abuse in varied forms.

Making a mark

Although most of them excel in lines like fashion designing, teaching and choreography apart from being make-up artist, their struggle to make a mark continues. Jaanmoni from Kochi is a celebrity make-up artist. She says transgenders do not come from a different planet. “Just because our sexual preferences are different it does not mean that we are bad people. Contrary to perception that we are suitable for only prostitution, a majority of us are talented in creative professions like sewing, dancing, teaching and styling. Unfortunately, due to many factors, our skills often remain unnoticed,” she said.

Education

In order to earn respect, some of them felt that there is a larger need to be educated.

“Nobody will dare to take you for granted if you are educated and successful. It is important to live your life with dignity and education is the only means to bring change in our community,” said Debbie, Kolkata-based fashion designer who grabbed the first runner-up title in the Miss. Trans Queen show.

The third genders are aware of the fact that it takes time for many to accept them as part of the mainstream society.

“Like everybody else, we do have emotions, dreams and aspirations. True independence is celebrated when the merciless society accepts us whole-heartedly and treats us as normal persons,” said Puppy who was judged the second runner-up at the pageant.

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