Social environment more friendly for transgenders
NAGPUR: For the transgenders exercising their franchise was a refreshing experience as they now have an identity rather than being classed as either male or female.
A group of 58 transgenders voted at a booth in Pachpaoli. “There was no rush there in the morning, so we did not feel the need to form a separate line. We went in one after the other,” said Saloni Ansari. “But at Mariam Nagar, a separate line was formed by a person from our community and since that line was short, many men and women also joined it,” Saloni said with a laugh.
Happy with the more accommodating ways of the people at the polling booth, Vidya Kamble who went to vote at Baba Nanak Sindhi Hindi High School in Hansapuri, said, “I could have stood in a separate line but I stood in the women’s line as I felt better. They too were curious but polite and made conversation with me,” Kamble said.
For Reema Kadbe who voted in Mahal there was a certain sense of pride. “There was not much rush in the morning, so I could cast my vote fast. What made me happy was that there was no confusion about my identity which was put as transgender,” she said.
Mohd Yusuf, who voted at a booth in Gandhibagh, said five from his community went together to vote. “People from our community have been voting since decades. Now it is just that we have got a new identity as a third gender which sounds more respectful. I have also applied for a passport and now hope to do Haj also,” Yusuf added.
The growing awareness in the society too has created an environment of safety for the transgenders. “Today I went alone to vote at Pardi and there was no tension. I did not feel the need to form a separate line. I feel since the removal of Article 377, people’s attitude towards us has changed. We also feel we have a identity as now we can prefix our names with Mx like Mr or Mrs,” said Mahi Tate.