Family is the closest thing we get in tough times, right? But what if your own family throws you out on the streets to die? So, I will elaborate on this.

I was born and brought up in Varanasi in a typical middle-class family filled with siblings. I was a shy kid, always trying to be a good student with a perfect score. As I reached the age of 10-11, I had already figured, I was different from boys of my age. I was attracted to girls but not in the same way. I used to love their dresses, make-up, etc. One day I got a chance to try my mom’s saree when no one was at home. I was elated when I dressed and styled in it. Though it made me feel complete, I had a bad feeling lingering inside so I changed. It became a routine as it was the only thing in the world that made me feel alive and close to myself. One day my mom saw. Everyone was furious. I was beaten badly and later my parents took me to Tantriks, the people who perform black magic for “treatment”. Now back in the 90s, with little to no awareness, that was the best they could do. From then on, I started being cautious and would try to be as “normal” as I could, in front of everyone. But this led me to severe depression. It wasn’t just the clothing but also my personality that wasn’t fitting with the definition of being a boy. It was a constant struggle inside my mind as well as outside with my family. I became an under performer in academics, my parents didn’t take it well. Taunts soon got converted to firsthand torture. There was no one in the house who would console me or even try to understand me. I just had one friend to whom I could cry my heart out. Thoughts of suicides became more common. I felt trapped in my own body. As soon as I completed 12th, I started working because I knew no one was going to support me, financial independence could give me some freedom. I worked in institutions as a counselor during my graduation and post-graduation.I was never afraid of hardwork, but it was constant fear of judgement that made situation tough. I was discriminated and made fun of based on my looks and feminine behavior. I had to fight for little dignity and respect, be it in my workplace or at home.

One day I thought, “Let’s put an end to this.” I got dressed in a saree and went to the temple. It spread like wildfire and as soon as I came back, they attacked me. I knew this was bound to happen. They beat me black and blue and threw me out on the streets with some of my stuff. Since it was the middle of the pandemic, I didn’t know where to go or how to find a job, or from where to arrange even a one-time meal. Since all hospitals were short of staff, I got a job there. But it was short-lived as everyone got to know my reality and discrimination started. I had to work under unhealthy circumstances to make ends meet. Meanwhile, I started looking for other jobs and finally got one in the Pride Circle organization. It was just the right opportunity I was waiting for. The work environment was supportive, and it is a safe place for queer people like us.  I got back to my feet and started living as paying guest. The landlord was a sweet lady who gave me the room without any objection to my orientation. As soon as I started earning, my family took me in. They still haven’t accepted me. It’s difficult to cut ties with them but now I live life on my terms. I identify myself as a transwoman and work towards bringing a change in society so that no one has to go through the same horror again. My workplace, managers and teammates have given me the space to express myself as I choose to. In recent years, there has been a significant change in the society too and progressiveness comes our way.

Total Work Experience : 6 Years (Navodaya Team, Evoke HR, Pride Circle)

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