Posted in Learnings, Life, People, Uncategorized

Transgender Awareness Week

I read on FB that this week is Transgender Awareness Week. So thought I would share something that has been brewing in my head for sometime now. 

A colleague of mine is a transwoman. I have known her long before she transitioned (from male to female). When she disclosed her transition, it was a shock. I did not have an inkling! She has been generous about sharing her journey, educating the rest of the world about what it is to be trapped in a body that one does not belong to, about the high suicide rate amongst transgender people due to family pressure and societal stigma. It is not a life choice, she says. You don’t transition because you want to, you transition because you have to.

Can you imagine what a person with that condition must be going through? It must be an unbearable, excruciating, and lonely journey. Kudos to them for going through enormous physical, emotional and mental pain to be true to themselves. As a society, we have a lesson or two to learn. To not judge what we do not understand. To not dismiss what we do not relate to. 

I am proud of Massachusetts that voted YES on ballot question 3, which is s a referendum on the state’s 2016 transgender rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation, in the midterm.

On a side note, I thought Arundathi Roy did a fabulous job of articulating the inner turmoil of transgender people through her protagonist, Anjum, a hijra, in her novel the Ministry of Utmost Happiness. It’s worth a read.

4 thoughts on “Transgender Awareness Week

  1. Often I feel like identifying strongly with certain social norms creates confusions and gender issues. And societies and cultures perpetuate it. I think all beings have parts of male and female energy in them. It is the identification that creates problem. Spirituality erases this separation.

    Two spiritual leaders in the modern world puts it well –

    First Eckhart Tolle, you might have heard this before. I LOVE it.

    Second is part of an article from Sadhguru, the part I like comes about three fourth of the way down in this article( which btw is not about transgender but more about identifications as a man or a woman becomes a conflict in a love or marriage relationship ). He says –

    Sadhguru: You should stop being a man or woman all the time. You don’t have to carry your manhood or womanhood 24 hours of the day. There are certain situations in certain aspects of life where you need to be a man or a woman. The rest of the time, you do not have to be either. But societies have trained you to be like this all the time. From the very clothes that you wear and the way you do everything – you have been trained in a certain way, to serve a certain purpose. Once you become like this – 24 hours man or 24 hours woman – you are troubled. But if you know how to simply be a piece of life, you will be fine; and when there is a requirement that you have to be a man or woman, you can play your role pretty well. So please save it. Don’t just go on spreading it around in the street. Just walk and live as a piece of life. If you are like this, there will be no conflict. It will be just fine.

    “Man and woman” are two compulsions. Two compulsions can never live together. The more identified you are with your sexuality, the more compulsive you will become. When you are compulsive, naturally you will step over many people. Once you start stepping on each other, there will be trouble. If you do not identify yourself too much with your womanhood or manhood and if you just walk as a piece of life, you will see that it is such a minor part of your life. You do not have to structure your life around it.

    So much of your potential would find expression if you just do not get too identified with your sexuality. People would become so much more creative and so much more capable of various things that they have not imagined.

    Here is the link to the whole article –

    https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/solution-to-man-woman-problems

    Then another one I like from him-

    https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/elements-male-female

    >

  2. Maha,

    I am touched by this statement:

    “As a society, we have a lesson or two to learn. To not judge what we do not understand. To not dismiss what we do not relate to.”

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