Watching the prime time news wasn't very interesting until today. The transgendered community of Tamil Nadu thronged the ofice where they were given identity cards. Now this is a laudable step by the Tamil Nadu government as it holds the light for other states to follow suit. The transgenders now can also access free sex-change operation from the Government hospital free of cost. Now why did this particular news item aroused my interest? Well, the reason is a pretty obvious one: That this community is one of the most marginalised and misunderstood one in the society. Even the tribal communities are given status as 'Scheduled Tribes' but the transgenders cannot be categorised either by community or by familial connections. They do not even possess a ration card. The society shuns them and their family disowns them (in most cases). That they are born men but possess the psychological set up of a woman unsettles many. That they do not fall into the conventional category of 'male' or 'female' makes people sqirm in their seats.
I frankly do not know even how many people respect them for what they are. People keep away from them either because they are afraid or they disdain them because of past experiences. Spending time and having stayed with them, I can confidently say that its all the state of mind which is an impediment for many of us. They are as loving, emotional, friendly and irritable as any of us. Next time you see a transgender, be polite and give a smile. They would definitely return the smile back.