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Survival for Existence

MELANGE brings to its readers a first person account of Amulya Gautam, a student of South Point School, who identifies as a trangender, and the identity crises she faces in a society still averse to accepting non binary genders

Survival for Existence

Sentinel Digital Desk



It was reported that Amulya, a ninth grade student of South Point School, Barsapara in Guwahati identified as a transgirl. She faced bullying from fellow students and had to raise her voice. Finally an open discussion took place in her school.

Amulya and her mother reached out to Milin Dutta, founder of Anaajoree, in the hope of getting a solution to Amulya's situation, months ago. After a series of discussions, an open discussion took place at South Point choolon January 11, 2023.

LGBTQ activist and storyteller Rituparna, Dr.Shristi Kumari, Medical officer; Indrani Chakraborty and Malay Chakraborty Amulya's parents; Rishav Thakur, Anthropology PhD. Scholar from New York University; Swagata Borah from Anaajoree; Amulya, and teachers from South Point School were present in the discussion.

Amulyashared that she was losing interest in school because of verbal abuse and mis gendering from fellow students. She also shared that inappropriate questioning from her fellow students made her feel depressed and brought suicidal thoughts. She, along with her parents, decided to fight against all the odds and speak up.

Amulya wants to dress like a girl and be accepted as girl by the society.

The speakers suggested the school authorities let Amulya participate where she wants to participate, open a section in library for gender and sexuality book, and to have more healthy and open discussion on gender and sexuality.

The group also requested the teachers to teach all the biology lessons so that the students understand their bodies. The school teachers are concerned about Amulya's well-being and they will do whatever is needed for Amulya's bright future.

The school management has shown a positive approach and is working for a friendly environment for Amulya.

Milin Dutta, shared his story to encourage Amulya and make the teachers understand some of the general trans issues.

Indranee, Amulya's mother, put pressure on "Identifying transwomen as women and transmen as men". Indranee also requested not to punish the students for abuse, but to teach them and make them understand.

Dr.Mythili Hazarika said bullying in school must be placed under ragging. She said that whatever happened to Amulya in her school was inhumane, that is asking her to open her bra, ask her to show her hidden body part pushed her to the level of suicidal thoughts. It is a fact that LGBTQ people have 8eighttimes higher Suicidal tendencies than other people. She suggested the teachers to teach the students to be more supportive towards Amulya.

The Universe is full of mysteries and a very small part is known to us. Every day we learn something new. Since evolution, mankind is advancing continuously in all aspects and in modern times humans are experiencing the optimum advancement of science. But my heart aches to see the mindset of the significant section of society which lacks acceptance, warmth, and understanding, thereby hindering global harmony. For ages, this society has been ignoring and suppressing a healthy section of people just because they don't fit into the binary gender system. Yes, I am talking about the Transgender Community, a small part of the community known as the LGBTQI+.

The world around us has transformed and advanced immensely but is still holding to its stereotypical ideologies that fit societal norms. The word transgender is an umbrella term for those whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned by birth. Acceptance has been lacking and the struggle for people belonging to this community is traumatic. The stigma related to this community labelled as mentally ill, socially deviant, and sexually predatory has made it even more difficult for them and they are often ridiculed by the society which doesn't understand them. I, being a transgirl myself, face a lot of odds almost every day. Since my childhood, I have been struggling between my heart and body. I realised early that I am different. My likes do not match with what I am expected to do. This way I grew up and when I was 10 years old, I realised that I am a girl and am in the wrong body, my body and my heart don't align. It was then that I understood why I was always taunted and teased. My fight began with myself and the Almighty. I really worked hard to fit in my body and kill my soul, but I couldn't and since then, the struggle has been constant. I am the only child of my parents and fortunate enough to be born to them. While fighting with myself, I went into depression and was sick. My parents tried all possible ways to help me and it was then that I came out and opened my heart to them. Blessed I am.Instead of shying away, they stood by me, held me tight, and stood by me through thick and thin. Now I live a life of a girl openly and I am free. I was always very precious to them and now they care even more. My parents mean the world to me and they are the best. But yes, I am often asked odd questions, referred to with wrong pronouns, looked at as alien, teased, mocked, so on. Some say I am mad, some call me unethical, some address me as a curse, the list is endless. My father builds my confidence and says: "To shine and become expensive, gold has to go through fire. " To keep up my morale he sometimes tells me:"You are the sun which burns to light the entire world and beyond." LUCKY ME!

I have come through while others are still in the closet or disowned by their families. Can't we do anything for them? We are not different. We all are humans. Our existence is as old as the evolution of humans. We held a prestigious position in ancient India. Mythology refers to us us as demigods. It is after the British invasion that our esteem was soiled, the reasons still remain a mystery.Through this article, I want members of our society to come forward, create awareness, educate themselves and others around them,respect all , accept and include. I repeat, we are not different, we too can-do wonders. Just reach out to us, and we will not let you down.

One of the most common problems that I face is being misgendered. Pronouns are considered essential because by using a person's pronouns correctly, one affirms the individual and forms an inclusive and queer-friendly environment. It is important to never assume a person by the pronouns which are applied. By assuming that a person should be denoted by a certain pronoun, it is possible to send an unintended message that people must look a certain way to be able to be categorised by this pronoun.Using the wrong pronouns can be offensive or even harmful. Ignoring a person's pronoun can also imply that people who are under the transgender umbrella- such as those who are transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, do not exist. By using acorrect pronoun people can reduce the adverse effects of social oppression.By affirming a person's pronoun — and by extension, their gender identity helps lower depression and raises self-esteem. A person affirming another's pronoun use can help others feel comfortable with their external appearance and gender Identity. With a motive to raise awareness of our existence, our feelings and our day to day struggles, i am pouring my heart out with a hope that in the quest of seeking acceptance and the feeling of belonginess, not today but eventually the world will notice that "We Existed,We Exist,We Will Exist." and welcome us with open arms. Don't Leave Us Unseen…

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