[Editor’s Note : Thank you to the Team Srishti Madurai for allowing us to share this post with Gaysi readers]
Generally the terms gender, sexuality and sex are taken to be the same. But they all mean different things. Sex is a biological definition and gender is the self-identity and it also means the sociocultural and behavioral perception, while sexuality refers to the sexual attraction towards a particular sex. That even within the mainstream LGBT community in India, the existence of these many genders is largely unknown.
Some forms of genders don’t even have a proper word in the dictionary and we have coined terms both in Tamil and English for a few, there are more than 20 different types of genders other than male, female and Transgender.
20 + Genders
Non binary Butch
Non binary femme
A total positive transformation in public awareness and perception will at least take another 20 years, the government, educationists and social activists should put an effort together and the change should start from the education system. We insist that gender and sexuality education should be part of the educational system from the primary schools itself and slowly through spiral methodology enter the main syllabus in high schools and colleges with appropriate discourse value.
People are ignorant about the existence of various genders and sexuality and due to this, for over a century, women &other minority gender-variants have undergone a lot of ill-treatment and abuse. It is time to put an end to this inhuman treatment to our gender-minorities. Hence we request through this every individual should insist the government that all actions that have been done so far in the field of education, culture, social awareness, medicine, research, psychology, legislation and media etc. for the empowerment of gender-minorities be brought to light, the schemes for their empowerment be brought out to public awareness so that we can take them to the gender-minorities, make them aware that the society and government respect them, make them aware of their rights and empowerment affirmation programs and also suggest improvement based on our own field study and experiences.
1. Lack of awareness about genderqueer issues from the side of physician , leads the patients with genderqueer identities treated with prejudice and misconceptions which results in the inappropriate medical services offered. On the other hand, awareness only about the existence of binary transgendered identities allows the physicians to reduce genderqueer issues as a subset of binary transgendered issues.
2. Apart from the medical services offered to the binary transgenders (transmen and transwomen), for transition, genderqueer identified transsexuals have different medical services and currently there exist no recognition for such transformation in medical sciences or as in law and hence the non binary transsexuals(eg.neutrois) people are led with the choice of non-transitioning or transitioning to a binary category like transwomen or transmen.
3. The lack of awareness, claim of inexistence, claim of passing, claim of extreme mental illness and claim as abnormal gives genderqueer people psychological , physical and sexual trauma and hides every chance for their self acceptance itself. They are compelled directly or indirectly to fit themselves within the binary gender categories which results in incorrect decisions of sex reassignment surgeries
4. Genderqueer people exist as “minorities within minorities”, with the lack of awareness about themselves, and faces the discrimination from the other sexual and gender minorities as well as the mainstream heteronormative society. The issues of genderqueers are considered marginal, in-existent and suppressed to enter the social activism by the dominant binary transgendered view that their issues must be taken into first and genderqueer issues comes second.
5. Systematized and organized research about genderqueer people and their issues are almost inexistent in the fields of medicine, psychological sciences, humanities and social sciences etc. Academic schools of gender studies solely focus on studying about binary genders and hence the specific needs and problems of genderqueer issues remains almost unknown.
6. Genderqueer people requires protection by law from the psychological,physiological and sexual abuses and the need to accept themselves and their identity. Moreover the specific requirements of genderqueer people must be recognised for the civil,medical and other rights.
7. It is quite impossible to predict the number of people affected by such conditions because these issues are repressed and unknown even to the people who experiences violence because of being genderqueer people.