A groundbreaking decision to recognize transgender today has been passed down by the Indian Government. According to CTV News published April 15, 2014, the highest court in New Delhi, India has recognized transgender rights to be human rights.
This is a major victory for gender and women’s issues. Before Indians could only identify themselves as male or female now they have the right to identify themselves as transgender and be eligible for India’s social programs such as welfare, education, healthcare and jobs programs. In turn any individual who has undergone surgery will be allowed to become the gender of their choice.
"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender.' This verdict has come as a great relief for all of us. Today, I am proud to be an Indian," said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who, along with a legal agency, had petitioned the court.”
The Indian government will also launch a media campaign to educate and lessen the social stigma placed on transgender individuals. The Indian Supreme court will also give transgender individuals the right to adopt. The federal court will mandate state courts to provide special public toilets and healthcare departments devoted to the special needs of transgender individuals.
Before getting too excited, the ruling is not for people who are gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual the ruling is for people who clinically have the physical characteristics of both genders or, “present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.’
Just as India appears progressive in this situation they are falling back in others. They have recently reinstated an old law that was on the books banning gay sex.
Nevertheless, this move to transgender recognition is a huge step forward. Many transgender men, according to CTV News, sing and dance at weddings for a living, or end up destitute and having to choose prostitution. No mention was made of the plight of women. We are all aware of the oppression of women in that country and hope that India will move forward on women’s issues as well.
This examiner is looking to see more progress in India as time goes by.