'I still beg to earn my livelihood'

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'I still beg to earn my livelihood'

She met a person who helped her realise her sexual identity as a transwoman

'I still beg to earn my livelihood'

New Delhi: The struggle of being born as a transgender starts the day they are born. They struggle with their sexual identity and don’t get the same respect as everyone else.

Zoya Lobo, 27, a resident of Bandra West, Mumbai shared her journey on CitySpidey live and said she grew up in a Christian community and dropped out of school when she was in class 5. She was aware that she was different from other boys and realised that at the age of 11.

When Zoya turned 17, she met a person who helped her realise her sexual identity as a  transwoman. Lobo said, “She is my guru and a motherly figure, Salma. From there, Zoya was introduced to the community of trans people. Lobo is Christian but that doesn't make any difference for Salma, as she happily accepted her and taught her ways of living as a trans.”

“Clapping signifies the community of trans people, from ancient times people have been clapping, this way we give blessings to other people to avoid any bad omen. We pray to god for the person who is suffering so that their problem gets vanished,” said Zoya.

Zoya was into photography before she became a photojournalist. She loved snapping nature but it was tough for her to purchase a DSLR camera. She purchased a camera from the money she collected while begging in trains and shagun she got during festivals. Whenever she got a huge amount, she used to save it to buy a camera. She finally bought her camera with the saved  money.

Talking about challenges during Covid, Zoya said, “My challenging moment during Covid was that the trains were closed. On the other hand, I needed to cover a story as a photojournalist. Most of the time I didn't have money for travelling expenses because local trains were also closed and public transport was also not working properly.”

Zoya also opined that the main acceptance is from the family. Once they start accepting us then everything will be alright even if the world is against you, still family support will make things easier. She also said that if she gets the chance of completing her education, she will love to do it.

Zoya is a known trans person in India and recognised widely as the first trans woman photojournalist but still  begs to cover her daily expenses. She gets some assignment as a photojournalist through which she gets some money but that does not happen every day.