'I spent my childhood trying to find my own identity'
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'I spent my childhood trying to find my own identity'

As a child, Anuradha was expected to be more 'manly'

'I spent my childhood trying to find my own identity'

New Delhi: For some people, it is a dream to speak about their true self. Many times the society wants to hide the things which according to them are not correct. It leads to overshadow of truth. One of them is the people look at a trans woman.

Anuradha Krishnan, 25, a dentist, proud trans woman, founder of Queerythym living in Trivandrum, Kerala said that at one time she considered herself as a sin and even tried to suicide because she was not happy about her gender expression.

She said people around her always tried to point out her as a different girl. She was in 8th grade when she again tried to commit suicide. She said that for a small child it becomes difficult for handling such traumatic things when she should be making some cheerful memory.

Anuradha said that the biggest mistake she made till now was when she was studying in college for graduation, which she skipped in the middle because the society was not accepting her as her true self. Later she realised and learnt that one should never escape from reality and she wished she wouldn’t have done this in the first place. That time, she took a break but again after some time got back into track.

Anuradha’s childhood was spent in a lot of confusion regarding expressing her gender. She was interested in wearing her sister’s frock and her mother’s saree while she was given the identity as a  male by birth. She was told that she would behave like a man and act masculine. As a child she was not aware about the terms like transgender, non-binary people and so on.

Her surrounding people  started bullying her sexually, physically and abusing her. She convinced her that she is a boy and should behave like a boy. When she came to college, she got exposure to the terms and also knew about the LGBT community. This time, she realised that she is a normal human being, and met a trans person.

Now she knows that she is unique but yes she has a gender identity. She met people who didn't curse their identity but rather cherish it. This time she was not that Anuradha that used to consider herself as a sin but now she can confidently speak about her gender identity without any fear or confusion.

Though she was confident and proud about her gender identity but coming out was a difficult decision for her, which was not a sudden decision for her. The society was again not supportive for her when she came out as her true self but rather cruel. Even her parents were  not able to understand her or her situation.

Her college mates were again not supportive and didn’t keep any contact with her, from that point she started feeling social stigma, mental stress and it all affected her studies, she took a break and started taking psychiatrist treatment. She came out as a transgender person in 2017 and started an organisation Queerythm, a registered community-based organisation for the LGBTQIA+ for queer individuals, which aim for a society free of  discrimination against gender and sexual minorities in Kerala. She met  family of queer people. She finally found a comfortable area to express herself.

Her decision to come out made her family feel ashamed of her, and her  friends hesitated to talk to her. They make her feel like she has some disorders. Some people tried to show her sympathy but she became more uncomfortable because she wanted to be treated as normal as anybody should be.

Anuradha said, “Even after the legal support, the society's perception towards the trans person remains the same, many are forced to quit their basic education, many get into sex works and many start begging on roads, railway station etc. They don’t have enough job opportunity. Though in Kerala there are many changes which were brought by the government for queer people and people also started accepting  trans person population. But when it comes to families, it is still a big problem, they speak like they are dishonour for the family. On the other hand, if the family accepts them then they themselves face problems from outside people especially from religious institutions  and mostly in rural areas.”

Anuradha not only came out as her true self but also worked for others in her community so that they can feel comfortable and proud about themselves.