Woes of being a transgender



Staff Reporter

Kalki, a transgender, runs ‘Sahodari Foundation’ for transgender persons

KOZHIKODE: What could you do as a transgender that you could not have done as a boy in your childhood, was the question that was posed to Kalki, a transgender running an organisation, ‘Sahodari Foundation,’ for transgender persons.

The question was posed to her as she interacted with the students of Farooq College at a programme organised by the Sociology Association of the college here on Wednesday.

Kalki said that as a boy whenever he intervened to prevent eve-teasing, the boys just shooed him away. “Now as a transgender, whenever I raise my voice against eve-teasing, even if they are goondas, they are afraid,” says Kalki.

At a press meet here, Kalki urged the State government to see the problems of transgender persons in a humane way and come up with schemes for the betterment of their lot. She said that because of the societal conservatism and religious fundamentalism in Kerala, many transgender persons in the State were migrating to places like Chennai, Karnataka, Pune and Delhi. She said their situation in Tamil Nadu was better than elsewhere in the country. The Tamil Nadu government had agreed to add a third gender in admissions to colleges recently. The government had also made sex change operations legal there, she said.

Kalki said that for a transgender who had money or family support or education or friends, it was not a difficult situation. But for others, it was a difficult life.

0“Most of them are thrown out of their homes. They are not given jobs. They are not even employed as domestic servants,” she said.

These transgender persons, according to Kalki, have two options—either beg or go in for prostitution. Even those who are begging are sexually harassed. Those who take up prostitution are also harassed by the police. She said that from the age of eight, she started feeling that she was a girl. “I was under hormone treatment for seven years. I had sex change operation only three years back,” she said.

Why the name Kalki? It is the name of the last incarnation of Vishnu who came to earth on a white horse to destroy the evil. She also thinks this is her last ‘incarnation.’ Also, Kalki is another name for Goddess Kali.

A post graduate from Madurai Kamaraj University with an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, she is also now pursuing M.A. in International Relations and nurtures a strong desire to work in the United Nations.

She ran a magazine ‘Sahodari’ for transgender persons which was defunct for some time now due to lack of funds. She plans to revive it now.

Farooq College head of department of sociology N.P. Hafiz Muhammed, faculty member M. Muhammed Basheer, and R. Nithin, secretary of Sociology Association, were also present.

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