A. Revathi – Rising Above Gender Culture

An extremely fierce and superbly humorous woman, Revathi brought to light some of the issues that the transgender community faces when trying to be another part of the Indian society. Some of the issues in Bangalore that were brought to light included public bathroom choices, education issues and being deprived of rights for the same and visits to gynaecologists, who usually little know how to deal with them. She also brought in various personal accounts of people who are discriminated against based on their gender identity, establishing that they indeed require more support and protection from the law, adding that “children [should be allowed] to mature and choose [their] gender for themselves.”

Apart from raising these issues, she also expressed the need to understand how the transgender community remains different from the intersex community, and the differences in the problems they face. At the same time she also acknowledged that these difference also led to a number of people falling between the cracks – for instance, the hijra community being accepting of all MTFs and variations along this trajectory, but rejecting FTMs. Having shared so much about people she dealt with, she then spoke from her autobiography about the various issues she faced as a sex worker, as a transgender, and as a member of a family that caused her great hardship for her identity. Finally, she brought the hour to an end with a concluding comment after interacting with the audience – “I draw my strength from my pain, and that is where my courage comes from.”

Report by: Pratyusha Nagavarapu

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One response to “A. Revathi – Rising Above Gender Culture

  1. Pingback: Sexuality, Gender & the Quest for Justice | Barefoot Philosophers·

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