Arunachal: Transmen’s issues come to fore in meet

Itanagar: Transmen, a minority community within the marginalised, continue to be a neglected lot despite the LGBTQ+ movement gaining momentum in recent times.

In order to “lend a non-judgemental listening ear” to the community of transgender men in Arunachal Pradesh, AP Queer Station and Deja Brew Café jointly conducted a session for them to freely express themselves and discuss issues related to their health, rights and other issues.

The discussion touched on issues such as the binary format of collecting and providing official data, often excluding transgender and intersex persons. A transgender person is someone who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth while the term ‘intersex’ is used when a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male. A transsexual, on the other hand, is a person who physically transitions from male to female or vice versa.

But India’s laws club transwomen, transmen, intersex and genderqueer people and persons ascribing to socio-cultural identities such as kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta under the definition of ‘transgender’, whereas in actuality, there exists a diverse classification of categories, it was pointed out.

A transsexual man, identified as XYZ, shared his experiences about his transition period with other young transmen. Transmen and non-binary trans persons from Upper Subansiri, Lower Subansiri, West Siang, West Kameng and Papum Pare districts attended the programme. Yuma Narah, a psychologist and Jimmy Sonam — both key ally members of AP Queer Station — threw some light on specific issues.

The talks ranged from life before transition, during the time of undergoing hormonal treatment and surgery and post challenges and adjustments in life. Other sensitive issues on family, educational system and other social issues that trans people are still finding hard to talk openly about were also covered.

Queer activist Sawang Wangchha was the facilitator of the ‘trans exclusive’ event that sought to maintain the confidentiality of the participants.

The community thanked Kobyum Zirdo, the owner of Deja Brew Café for granting a queer-friendly safe space to the community members.

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