In recent years, India has seen quite a few progressive measures in favour of women, trans and the LGBTQIA+ community. A question that persists is whether these pen-and-paper rules percolate through the (un)conscious bias, superstitious beliefs and othering that surrounds the trans community.
As a teenager, Kalki Subramaniam recalls her struggle while coming out to her parents. But the celebrated transwoman ‘artivist’ from Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, considers herself ‘lucky’. Unlike many from the queer community, she was not banished from home and allowed to complete her education. “Trans activism is growing every day, but we have to figure out why the needs of the trans community are not reaching those at the top. It could be because education does not reach our community and our people are not taken seriously,” says Subramaniam.