Mx. Nishtha Nishant
When I started browsing through the net to know more about Nishtha I was literally clueless about the traumas that a transgender undergoes! A few bits I knew from my childhood was that they have been revered for what they are from the ages of Ramayana and Mahabharata. They were referred as Hijras, thirunangais , aravanis and shiva shakti and revered for being the harbingers of fertility. In the remote past they remained unquestionably a part of the society and enjoyed high visibility with most of the people encountering them regularly while going about their lives. Historically pre-colonial India exhibited a culture open to sexual fluidity as opposed to western morality and their conception of gender. They were employed in the courts of the rajas to collect taxes and were part of the administration very often. It was the British who put chain into their freedom terming them as criminals by passing a law in 1897. This stigmatised the whole community and the lasting effect of it can be seen in contemporary India too. In 2018 Indian Government struck down section 377 bringing a new hope and enthusiasm into their lives.
Think of a childhood, where the mind constantly reminds that “Iam not this, Iam not this’ but have to take up and fake the gender that the parents and he society has conferred upon. Nishtha or Nishant (her previous name) underwent such inner conflict and trauma that they term as gender incongruence. Thank God Nishtha later, out of her sheer will and wisdom could embrace her own gender and emerge out like a butterfly. Amid all these mess she took a graduation in Bioanalytical sciences and researched during Masters programme in Chemistry to get employed comfortably. Trans like Nishtha are putting their feet down, enough is enough. They need to work, look after their family and find means for their own expenses. The third genders are out and out, an uncontaminated part of nature itself with no any flaws in sentience, perception and thought faculties. So keeping them away from the mainstream is something more than injustice.
In Kerala we have Renju, a famous makeup artist who is always in high demand and I had seen two or three trans couples having a very normal life together. In a way why should they suffer for something beyond their control? Being a Transgender is purely a biological phenomenon. Here is a chat with Nishtha Nishant.
1.I read that you went through a gender incongruence, a time of inner turmoil and then you got settled. Is this agony common to all transgenders? Would it not have been much easier if there are professional counsellors or the kind while a child or teenager undergoes such a challenging period?
A person who identifies themselves beyond the gender binaries (i.e. Female and male) goes through gender incongruence. Agony may be common to the majority of them, but the mechanisms to deal with it would be different. Professional counsellors would have surely been a great help to make the journey easier, especially for children or teenagers who experience gender incongruence.
2. Many still believe that transgender is about the mind and sex rather than biological. How can this be addressed?
Well, if many believe that Transgender is about the mind and sex, then so is the gender binaries (i.e. Female and male.) Let us understand, just as how the gender binaries are biological, Transgender is biological too.
3. What are your future plans? How are you going to take the life ahead?
My future plans are as common as any other human being of my age. I wish to get married soon, give a beautiful life to the children I wish to adopt. I will be continuing education in order to achieve a higher level of my career goals. This will help to fulfil my wish to provide the best that I can offer to the marginalized communities in India. I wish to bring the change that I want to see, optimistically as ever.
4. Are there again any more rights to be fought and earned? If sowhy is the government not looking into that on a humanitarian concern? Why is the voice not heard ?
I believe, there will be more fights for rights, until there are equal rights. The government needs to understand the basics first, about a human, inorder to make any rights. The voices are not being heard because there is chaos. It is important to hear voices of true representatives and to give them an opportunity to speak, which our country is yet to get it correct.
Hopefully things are turning around. Many are getting decently employed and sooner this existing disparity will evade. It was a relief to hear that Nishtha is now taking care of her beloved mom and brother. Indeed a great achievement. Stay blessed always. Thank you Nishtha