Transgenders hail SC verdict, seek respect from society

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:59

New Delhi: Transgenders are elated at the Supreme Court judgement on Tuesday recognising them as a "third gender", but are afraid that the social acceptance will take longer because of the stigma and discrimination associated with them.

"The judgement is good in terms of recognising us as the third gender, but the discrimination will continue in (the society)," Shaila Jaan, a transgender, told a news agency.

"Though it is a step towards development, but things will only change if the mentality of people towards us changes. So social awareness and change in the education system, along with acceptance will definitely bring change," she added.

The apex court bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice AK Sikri said that transgenders should be considered as people from socially and economically backward classes.
It also ordered the centre and the state governments to include them for reservation in jobs and education.

"It is wonderful to know that we would be getting equal opportunities and better job prospects. But, the question is how will people treat me? Will they ridicule me or will they make an effort to know and be friends with me?" asked Chandni, a transgender.

This judgement has given hope to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The verdict "is important on a global level and India is one of the few countries to give this landmark judgement. This clearly shows that the Supreme Court is progressive in its approach. Now there would be no discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation", Leslie Steven, a gay rights activist, told a news agency.

Filmmaker and gay activist Onir too welcomed the judgement.
"It is a landmark judgement by the Supreme Court and should have happened many years back. Nevertheless, it is a significant judgement that has given equal rights to the transgenders like any other citizen of India," Onir told a news agency.

"This judgement also means hope to the LGBT community and we are hopeful to win that battle too," said Onir, who has directed movies like "I Am" and "My Brother Nikhil".

First Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:59
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