Journey of a transgender student in India

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struggles of a trans student

I was 17 years of age when I learnt the actual difference between a man and a woman. Yeah that was When I first actually understood what puberty was. And realized what made a what made a woman a woman and a man a man. I was very good at biology and this thing made me curious and I learnt some women who didn’t have female parts would start taking estrogen that would help to develop second characters. I went to a doctor nearby mangalore when when I was sick. Instead the doctor sexually attacked me. Later I thought if I could know more about estrogen and I asked him. He told me about Conjugated Estrogens, I was happy. I immediately bought the  medicines and soon learnt about anti androgen from the site tsroadmap, I started to to develop breast tissue and soft skin. I started to love it and then I started to Feel a Lump on my chest. I called my mom and told her everything but I lied to her about premarin, that it was pimple cure tablets. My mom took me to a doctor, who disclosed her the facts about premarin. I was taken to a psychiatrist and I was admitted for a week but nothing happened.

Joining Medicine as Transgender In India

In 2011 I joined MBBS a religious minority medical college in mangalore. I was 18 years of age by now and a legal major and above the age of consent. I was so happy. I met the psychiatrist in our college hospital within no time, and told him about my gender issues. He promised me at the time that after two years of psychotherapy, hormones will be initiated.

I was asked to bring my parents. Initially I refused, but later I was forced to invite my parents to college in return for my treatment. My mom spoke to college authorities against my transition and I was also against rule of religion. Two years passed away. The psychologist told me that I was ready for HRT and that the hospital doctors refuse to treat me on the grounds of religion. She told me that her part of the job was over. Then she left the hospital and new psychologist who replaced her, also evaluated me and said that I was regular for my treatment. Even the new psychologist told me that it’s better to go outside because no one would treat one on the grounds of religion.

Self Medication

In the beginning of 2011, only I knew these doctors were fooling  around .And then I resorted to self medication. I knew that sensitivity of hormonal receptor weakens after puberty. I tried in manipal but it was far then, I tried another hospital in mangalore. The endocrinologist charged me high fee for consultation. He then asked for the psychiatric certificate that stated I have gender dysphoria. A certificate was given to me by my hospital psychiatrist. It was clearly mentioned in the certificate that my parents are unwilling for treatment. Even though I knew this letter would bring me bad news , I tried to talk to another endo in another hospital but it didn’t work.

I am 23yrs old now and I was 18yrs when joined in the college. Its been 5 yrs I have been trying every doctor to treat me. They would keep beating about the bush some doctors directly told me that the college has authorized them not to treat on the grounds of the religion. My gender dysphoria increased with time and I had to slowly rely on the medical knowledge that I got and through research, I was on self medication. I couldn’t get help until recently 6 months ago I took my father to a psychologist to understand my issue but my dad refuse to co operate. I gave up on begging much doctors and having expectation. I had to manage and save expenses and somehow manage to make a little money and save for the medicines. I was depressed and suicidal in these five years and everyone in the college knew my condition. I became a joke.

Men’s Hostel

I was made to stay in the men’s hostel and have been sexually harassed and raped there. But the college authorities have converted my sexual harassment complaint to a ragging case and only warned those boys. I am still living in that pain. The religious administration in the college called me a mad person and that’s it. I just kept on mourning with life with no expectation. I had lost many in the process. No one would take me seriously . I had even gone to speech therapist of my hospital for training my voice to higher pitch. The speech therapist read my file and heard of my experience with the other doctor. I thought she would help me and she did help me because it didn’t  must to her and then she transferred my case to another transphobic religious speech therapist who refused my treatment on the grounds of religion. I had even complained to Karnataka medical council, who said my hospital authority was not found to be medically negligent and I was to report this case  to civil court and if it is found that it goes against human rights then only they can take action. Some teachers hated me because i am a pre operative transsexual women. I was told by my psychologist frankly that I were to go against my religion minority college by bringing the media may put me in deep trouble. I may loose my seat in this college and teachers will reduce my internal marks and make sure I don’t pass and nevertheless my parents will make my life miserable than now. I had to stay quiet and I knew no one can help me.

But I will never loose my direction of life. I Know deep within me that i am a very strong person. I will rise beyond discrimination and trans-phobia. Every cloud has a silver lining. I will educate myself and people around me. Awareness kills ignorance, I will do my bit in killing transphobia in India. I hope one day i grow up to be a Endocrinologist or a Psychiatrist so that i can support transgender youth who really need support. I will never loose hope. There is a better tomorrow waiting for all of us…..

Adios Babes……

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hi April,

    You could try and contact organizations like Sangama or the Solidarity Foundation. Aneka, another foundation also offers scholarships to deserving trans individuals who further the cause of the community. At the very least you can always write to them for help. All these are very active in Karnataka state. All the best, sister! Lana

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