Transgender groups in WB holds meeting to discuss ‘third gender’ tag

Kolkata, 16 July-2014(ANI): Transgender groups held a state level consultative meet to discuss if the tag ‘third gender’ is acceptable to them or not, and various other issues.

Transgender groups in WB holds meeting to discuss ‘third gender’ tag

Transgender groups in WB holds meeting to discuss 'third gender' tag

Representatives of the transgender community at a State-level consultation in Kolkata on Tuesday. Photo: Special Arrangement

The meet, ‘Rehabilitation and Welfare of Transgender Community’, was chaired by state Social Welfare Minister, Shashi Panja and social activist, Anupam Hazra.

Nearly 40 transgender groups and committees attended the meeting and voiced out their feedbacks regarding the Supreme Court ruling for their rights

Panja said the meeting was mainly to spell out the various demands of the community and if the tag third gender was acceptable to them or not.

“I have assembled about 32-33 organisations which involves transgender themselves to get a feedback from them on how they feel about themselves. There is something about the ruling which they want to say, which seems totally contrary to the ruling – regarding if they should be called third gender or not,” added Panja.

Gays continue to face a social stigma in India, where hugging and kissing in public, even among heterosexual couples, is strongly frowned upon.

“When we think of whole of West Bengal then, from different districts, there are some different issues. But the major issues are school dropouts, rejection from home, family, college dropouts and no career. So these are the primary concerns that need to be addressed,” said a transgender, Madhuja Nandi, who attended the event.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code banned ‘sex against the order of nature’, and is widely interpreted to mean homosexuality in India and the person committing the Act can be punished with up to 10 years in jail. The rule dates back to the days of British colonial rule in India. (ANI)