The transgender community has stepped up its efforts to be represented in the State Legislative Assembly.

Soumya, a Bangalorean, will contest in the May 5 elections from the Gandhinagar constituency as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate and will fight Dinesh Gundu Rao (Congress) and the former police officer Subhash Bharani (Janata Dal-Secular).

Refused recognition

Ms. Soumya told journalists here that while other political parties refused to recognise the transgender community, the BSP did.

Party leader C.S. Dwarakanath said that Ms. Soumya was the first transgender to contest in the history of Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections and the BSP would make all efforts to pave the way for her entry into the Vidhana Soudha.

Oppression

Ms. Soumya said: “We are treated as castaways as we don’t have family support and no means to support ourselves. We face oppression from the administrative machinery. I want to fight for our rights.”

She then narrated the battle she lost over trying to get a below the poverty line (BPL) card. She got her voter ID card after much struggle, she said.

When asked why she chose Gandhinagar, she said people here were sympathetic to her community. She had no money but familiarity with the area and involvement with various social organisations would help. She plans to visit each household to seek Re.1 along with their vote. “There is no other way but to depend on donations as I have no funds.”

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