Youth starts 1st desi site for transgenders

Website offers legal, medical advice to trans community.

Mumbai: While one hears a lot about including sexual minorities in the mainstream on TV shows and media reports, city-based transgender youth Sophie Dawud (24) and her friends have actually gone out and launched a website that caters to the needs of the transgender community. The country’s first online helpline offers legal and medical aide to those from the community. The aim of the website is to teach the trans youth and help them.

The website recommends specialists in case a person is interested in undergoing a sex-change operation. The site also offers guidelines and precautions that one needs to take while changing their gender in the legal documents. “In our country, there is no platform to discuss issues faced by transgenders unlike in other developed countries. I had no option left apart from googling since there was no portal to avail any guidelines,” said Ms Dawud, the brainchild behind the website.

According to the 2011 census, India’s total population of transgender is around 4.88 lakh. The census data of transgenders was collected with details related to their employment, literacy and caste. The data has been clubbed inside “Males” in the primary data released by the Census Department. For educational purpose, separate data of transgender has been culled out from that.

She was addressing participants at the Tedx Dharavi event on Sunday. Efforts to begin such a helpline began two years ago. The website contains archives and anecdotes shared by other transgender persons. It offers guidelines, for instance to any trans woman who may want to change her gender in a legal document. The information is contributed by other transgender youths themselves.

A service called ‘transgenie’ even helps the user to find doctors, counsellors and specialists in case one needs medical help. The contact details of trans-friendly specialists are also contributed by the youths.

Shattering the stigma related to transgenders, Ms Dawud explained that the community was revered in the pre-British era. “We have shared a contact wherein people can call us directly to seek help. But then there are some men who call us and ask for sex. It is unfortunate but few people have this kind of mentality,” said Ms Dawud.


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