Kerala

Transpeople get short shrift from parities

Thiruvananthapuram With polling set to begin in a week, the presence of only one transgender person among 74,899 candidates in the fray for the local body elections in the State is causing consternation in the transgender community.

Though two transgender candidates had announced their candidature, as Independents, the nomination of one got rejected owing to technical reasons, leaving K. Sneha the sole transgender candidate in the fray.

Transgender poet Vijayarajamallika is very disappointed that despite a transgender policy, Transgender Justice Boards, Transgender Cell, and increasing transgender awareness, the State is sill not trans-friendly. Political parties are still not ready to accept transgender persons into their organisations, support their candidature, or work to make them win. “They are contesting as Independents. The parties are still not evolved enough to bring transgender people into the administration.”

‘Lack of awareness’

Vijayarajamallika apprehends that some invisible agencies who do not want their presence in administration are at work. This is because of lack of proper awareness. The hope is that in the next election, more parties will field transgender candidates. How much ever the State supports transgender persons, without their presence in administration, the government’s responses will not be effective or empathetic, says Vijayarajamallika.

Syama S. Prabha, project officer in the Transgender Cell, concurs that society neglects, at many levels, the community. “Someone who is not receptive to the community is unlikely to be open to the idea of seeing a transgender person in the administrative domain. This is why many transgenders are reluctant to fight elections.”

Funds for polls

Without political backing, it is not easy for transgender persons to contest polls as Independents. One of the reasons is financial, as electioneering requires funds, but not many of them can afford it.

Again, without societal support, whom will they ask for votes other than the transgender community, Syama asks.

The low number of transgenders – 282 - on the final voter list is also being seen with some concern. This reflects the number of people who have chosen transgender in their election ID. Many others have a binary identity – male or female. This may be a problem as even though the transgender population in the State is estimated to be sizeable, records do not show it. And without numbers, the voice of the community may not be heard, nor will their chances of representation in the corridors of power go up.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 10:44:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/transpeople-get-short-shrift-from-parities/article33222691.ece

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