Sarah Joanne Jakubowski, Contributing Journalist
Last Modified: 22:32 p.m. DST, 19 April 2014
INDIA – A decision was made on 15 April 2014 in favor of the 3 million Indians who are transgender. On legal forms, there is now a third category marked either “transgender” or “other.” The Indian constitution orders against gender discrimination and more and more people are beginning to realize that that includes more than just men and women.
Transgender is defined as someone who has acquired physical characteristics of the opposite sex, who identify as neither male or female, or who present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
Among other things, transgendered people now have the legal right to adopt children and to have the same jobs as non-transgendered people. Before the law, the majority was either restricted to “show” careers — singing and dancing — or to a life of begging or prostitution. Now if needed they can be included in welfare programs that help provide jobs, education and healthcare.
Public toilets for the transgender community as well as transgender-specific health services are now available. India has also launched public awareness campaigns to fight the stigma against transgender people.
Since the ruling, 28,000 people have chosen to identify themselves as “other” on voter registration forms.
- India recognizes 3rd gender rights (edition.cnn.com)
- India Officially Recognizes Transgender People as ‘Third Gender’ (jezebel.com)
- India’s top court recognizes transgender as third gender category (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- India’s top court recognizes third gender category (cnsnews.com)
- Gender And Identity (therapytribe.com)
- You: Indian SC orders to recognize transgenders as 3rd gender (nation.com.pk)