Lok Sabha Election

Delhi’s transgender voters excited at voting for the first time under gender identity of their choice

Transgender voters show their inked finger after casting their votes from the Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency, in New Delhi on May 12, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Excited about voting under their chosen gender identity for the first time in general elections, the transgender voters in the national capital flaunted their inked fingers and expressed hope for a government which ensures them a better future.

This is the first time that transgenders are voting under the category after Supreme Court had declared them as the “third gender” in 2014. Earlier they had to vote as male or female.

For 32-year-old Janasheen, it was an incredible experience. “I have voted before but this is the first time I am voting as a transgender, an identity which I am proud of now. I have also posted a selfie on my WhatsApp status with my inked finger.”

Sapna Bai, a transgender who voted in Matia Mahal said, “I am very happy that I can cast my vote as what I really am. I want a new government which thinks about us and also consider us equally on their agenda“.

18-year-old Dummy wanted her chosen government to ensure special toilets for transgenders.

“It is a progressive move that we have been identified as a third gender. While lot needs to be done for us, to begin with special toilets are a must for us,” she said.

A Tughlakabad resident, a transgender voter, who did not wish to be identified, was happy to be exercising her franchise for the first time saying the society and the government has acknowledged their community as the third gender. “We have been neglected repeatedly by consecutive governments for quite a long time. Our condition in the society is pathetic. We are still an outcast. People ridicule us and we are not even acknowledged. We have managed to secure this right after a long battle and will vote for the party which will work for out rights and for improving our condition.”

Another transgender voter said on the condition of anonymity, “Political parties promise us lot of things — be it offering shelter homes or employment opportunities — but it is only for elections. We are part of the community. But as a responsible citizen, it is my right to vote which I have irrespective of the outcome.”

According to Delhi Chief Electoral officer, a total of 660 transgenders were eligible to cast their vote besides 78,49,947 male and 64,21,283 female voters.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 7:33:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/delhis-transgender-voters-excited-at-voting-for-the-first-time-under-gender-identity-of-their-choice/article27108423.ece

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