The third gender in the country has been struggling to live a life with dignity and get recognized by the society. In yet another win for the transgenders, the Chandigarh administration has allowed them to add a separate prefix to their names to denote their identity. The identity, to be noted as Mx, can now be used by transgenders when filling up administrative or admission forms.
Activists suggest that there are an estimated 3,000 transgenders in Chandigarh and believe that awareness of this new directive will be a big boon to many in their work and personal lives.
No Mr, Ms or Mrs, the third gender has come out triumphant with ‘Mx’ as title prefix. This is a unique victory for the transgenders. The decision was taken recently at the Transgender Welfare Board meeting where a 14-member panel pushed the long pressing demand of transgenders to be recognised as a third identity.
Influential members of the transgender community claimed that the demand was long overdue and necessary. They said the new official identity would help the society in learning to accept transgenders, and hopefully cut down on the discrimination they face.
Dhananjay Chauhan, one of the members of the Transgender Welfare Board (TWB) stated that the lack of acceptance of a new gender had meant that so far transgenders were accepted by neither men nor women in society. "The problem is worst in college," Chauhan told India Today. He recalled being bullied mercilessly during his college days. "As I was neither male nor female, I and other transgenders were beaten and molested by male students when I joined university. In fact, I was ragged so mercilessly that I was forced to leave my LLB course immediately gaining admission," he added.
Chauhan proposes for a separate hostel for transgenders and has been continuously fighting for their rights so that they do not go through the same experience that he did. The change of gaining identity was successful in Chandigarh, all eyes now remain focused on the central government. Will the Center take inspiration from the recent change so that transgenders pan India receive equal identity?