© Shuchi Kapoor
For someone who was born a man, woman or someone with intersex conditions, but identifies more as belonging to the opposite sex, it is a complex and constant battle –within at first, and then with the world outside. “Transgender” is one of the ways in which we’ve taken to defining and categorising them. When a man steps out of the boundaries, to establish himself as more woman than a man, it reflects an innate need for femininity. And then there’s the extent to which he will go to transform himself: sex-change surgeries, extensive cosmetic surgeries give him what God didn’t.
Their acts of rebellion in response the pathetic attitude of society towards them are well known, but with more awareness and community bonding, their vulnerabilities and emotional conditions get addressed among themselves. Today they may hold positions in public offices of the government and have voting rights, but most still live on the fringes of the society as dancers, entertainers, prostitutes and beggars.
Their exuberance, confidence and beauty is arresting. A feast for curious onlookers, their gender and their appearance may be ridiculed, but many years of discrimination have been met with clarity and conviction of who they want to be seen as. Sexy, feminine, all-woman.