The day was November 26, 2019. I was resting from the tiring pleasures of pride, although pleasure wouldn’t be an apt word for it this time around, especially for someone who is trans. I was in college, in one of the film screenings organized by the English department. Then I got a call which I couldn’t pick up. I went out of the room and opened my phone to text my friend back. Then I saw it, right on top of my messages “Trans bill passed. Must meet”.
As a neurodivergent queer person, I have always had problems with sudden input of triggering content. From an unexpected homo/transphobic remark from a person I didn’t expect from to the grandma saying her ‘grandson’ looks handsome. There isn’t much I can do about it but go to therapy and take my meds. Now, back to the event at hand.
It hit me like a train, which I imagine would be any trans person’s first response to it. Shock. Shock for the fact that you tried talking to people for an entire week, collectively making #StopTransBill2019 trend on twitter. Shock for the fact that you would have thought the countless trans people raising their voices online would have made these BJP MPs get the idea that we as a community do not want this. Shock for knowing the fact that inferno is upon you. Shock sticks for a while, especially in people who have experienced multiple traumatic experiences in their lives. So it did. It stuck with me while I sat on the comfortable leather seat on the cab to our meeting place.
There I was, in the middle of a group of people I can only describe in the least by legendary, towering over me in all aspects, planning our next move. I can only imagine what monsters these elven warriors keep shackled in the depth of their minds but I was sure there was shock there somewhere, I’m sure that that’s not one thing my autistic brain assumed. Yes, we were in shock together. Then we had the protest that night, a quickly planned one, which turned out remarkably good.
That night was when shock turned to fear. I went to an anonymous LGBT+ chat room in discord (a messaging app) and tried to vent my anxieties. But the group was too busy with their regular LOLing that they didn’t even care for my message there. Maybe that is the fate of a few of us who are in a crisis situation – seeking help in a place not designed for support… but fear makes one do things which logic would clearly advise against. Then for some reason, I picked up my phone and looked at twitter, to see how the conversation was going on. The #StopTransBill2019 tag was now nowhere to be seen in the trending list. The world had clearly moved on. All the world seemed to want seemed to care about was either some cricket thing or some Bollywood thing. For god-knows-how-many-time, I knew cishet society failed me. The group of people, which includes my family failed me. All the queer people who stood with BJP failed me. I sat there, in my bed, horrified, imagining what my people all over the country would be facing. My auditory hallucinations came back as well, alternating between Golem’s and Lady Galadriel’s voice, subjecting me to what bacteria would feel like when a biologist gives it a thermal shock.
Fear then turned to anger. I was angry at the world. I was angry at the people who elected these ‘representatives’ into power. I was angry at myself for existing. The anger made me to go to the supermarket and get stationary to make posters and sort of helped push the suicidal thoughts which kept on bubbling up.
Then came the big protest. I wore a shirt and pants as I did not have the courage in me to wear a dress. There I stood. Among the crowd. Dysphoric as fuck. I smiled at the people I met there. I wonder if any cisgender person would ever know how hard trans people had to struggle to smile that day. But I did. We all did. But when the protest started, boy oh boy did the cameras capture our anger.
The next day, I went to my therapist who for some reason, gets all her LGBT+ information from this queer therapist friend, tried to calm me down and say my fears were baseless. I wasn’t buying any of that but I sat there. I later went home and checked this person out on Instagram and Facebook. Not a single trans bill related content out of hundreds of photos. I highly doubt this ‘therapist’ friend of my therapist has the mental health of trans people as a priority, given that she is queer herself. At this point, I’m kind of judging cis queer people who are very active on social media platforms by how they have reacted to the bill. I think almost every trans person is.
So the darkness is upon us. To me, that means more hallucinations, panic attacks and other horrors that make my earthly existence more miserable. And I know I’m not alone in this. This has and will continue to affect us. And that is why we must fight. We must fight to give our people a good night’s sleep. We must fight to give our trans siblings keep having a roof over their head. We must fight so that their abusers are given the treatment they deserve. We must fight for all of these, and for anything that you can think of, for we, my friends are now at war, like the fellowship of the ring against sauron.
Like our fights before, we will unleash our minds in all their rage against them.
And we will win