Reading through Part I and Part II fiction of my blogger friend Nevine's blog, I could not help but wonder at some of the conventions and conditions of the notion of love. I also noticed the different perceptions of the male and female mind. Culture and mainstream society has ingrained our mind with the picture of a man and a woman while thinking about love, sex and other related ideas.
Traveling to Madurai last week for purpose of my research, I moved closely with the transgender group that lives there. Being a researcher of gender and related concepts, I encountered a spectrum of sexuality which completely baffled me and opened me into a colourful world filled with a mish-mash of relationships. It was a revelation to me: The existence of different hues of sexuality in comparison to the usual 'heterosexual' one. Media fuelled by the mainstream which is further fuelled by the cultural domain has strongly impressioned the heterosexual norm that one is choked by the variety that is presented by the so called 'other.'
But what I found interesting is that even though my transgendered friends live in a community, they fall in love with a man (who is gay as well as married having a family) and follow the norms like any heterosexual couple. The male-to-female transgender assumes the role of a wife and does everything that is expected of a dutifully married woman in the Tamil society. Even this is love. There are issues of jealousy, trust and fidelity that creep between the couple.
This further brings me to write about the 1994 film that I saw in the telly a few days ago: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The film tells the story of two drag queens and a male-to-female transgender who take a road trip through Australia performing in many places. The story showed the emotional humane side of the three individuals who have their strengths and weaknesses. However strong and aggressive they appear on the outside, their inside is populated with a mirage of emotional anxieties ranging from fear, anger, restlessness, etc. The director has tactfully shown their life as well as people's reactions towards them.
Now coming back to love and relationships: My experiences of staying with them as well as watching the film makes me wonder whether the treatment meted out to them is justified. At the end of the day, they are no different. They are plain human beings who crave for love, express their anger and fight for causes that are dear to them. This is also love.