The Beauty of a Transgender Person

By Fiza Pathan

Many people wondered why I wrote the story ‘Flesh of Flesh’ especially my family members. They found it difficult to accept in the beginning, that their daughter had written a story about a transgender child──a child who was rejected by her family, but then in the end turned out to be a boon to that very same family who had hurt her.

Being a girl from the bustling city of Mumbai, I’ve been exposed to the evils of our society like female foeticide, rape, bride burning, dowry deaths, molestation of girls, eve-teasing etc. However, the plight of a certain section of people in our city did not strike me as a burden on the social framework of society. In fact, I found the Hijras or the Eunuchs of my city intriguing. My family feared them because of the superstition that a Hijra’s curse is the worst curse of all and so whenever they used to beg at our homes or on the streets, my family members would pay them quickly and try to shoo them away. In my innocence, I thought that was the best way to deal with Hijras but as I grew up, my opinions started to change especially after I started studying Sociology at my college.

After a lot of studies on the transgender population of our city, I began to realize that they were not monsters created by the devil, but human beings born of a mother just like you or me. I realized by viewing many documentaries on YouTube and reading transgender literature that Hijras were not to be looked down upon, but to be respected for the diversity of the biology which they present to us, who have not been exposed to the fact that God has not just created ‘man and woman’ but many other different people who due to their not being able to fall in the age old idea of male and female are ostracised by the society. I realized then that the Hijras of my city or of my country were not people only meant to beg or prostitute themselves for a living. With these feelings floating around in my head, I started looking at the Hijra as a beautiful creation of biology.

In India, a Hijra can earn a living either by begging on the streets or by prostitution. When I realized this I felt shocked that for such a long period of time, such beauties of God who deserved every right that is due to me, had to lead a life of constant rejection and persecution by the very society who brought them into the world. I started looking at the Hijra of my society as a rebel to the normal status quo. This was when the story of ‘Flesh of Flesh’ came into my mind. From my research I realized that although many Hijras found out later in life that they were not biologically normal beings yet there were a few newborn babies with birth defects which at birth itself made it difficult to tell whether the child was a girl or a boy. Sadly, most of such children in our society are given away to a Hijra community and that is what happened to the newborn baby in my story ‘Flesh of Flesh’.

During the process of writing this story, I came across a video broadcast by a company Frameline Voices, titled ‘Harsh Beauty’ which documented the lives of three adult Hijras. I was touched by their uniqueness in looking at the world and yet how sad their world really was. I remember one of them even stating that there was no chance of them even dying in the company of their real families, as the eunuch community was their ‘real family’ and here was where they were destined to lie at rest.

On a personal note, I started to identify myself with these outcasts of society. Being a girl, my father’s family did not accept me and so my mother and I in desperation, had to return to my maternal grandmothers family where I live happily even till this day. Through my writings I want to show a different side to the Hijra community that no one else has dared to do because it is such a touchy and delicate topic. I want to show the Hijra community being a part of our society and being accepted as who they were; our world has to realize that there is much more to the world than what is between their legs or what is not between their legs.

As I said before, my family was shocked when I came out with the story ‘Flesh of Flesh’ but with the support of my youngest maternal uncle Blaise, who has always been like a father to me, I went on to publish ‘Flesh of Flesh’ as an Amazon short story single. When one of my author friends from the U.K. read it she was adamant that I should convert this short story into a full length novel. I was hesitant at first. We are a hard core Roman Catholic family and if I became an LGBT writer that meant a lot of things would be said online as well as off line, which would not go down very well with the people of our community.

However, while I was in this dilemma, I came across a video on YouTube about a young transgender girl called Jazz. Seeing how beautifully her family had accepted her for who she was, made me watch a dozen or so videos on YouTube about Jazz and her life as a transgender. Her beauty and her confidence emboldened me to make the final decision . . . I am going to turn ‘Flesh of Flesh’ into a full length story to show the narrow minded world that no matter what has been apparently said in the Bible about ‘the in between sex’ I don’t think that any God would be so cruel as to hate a beautiful transgender with a unique biological pattern created by Him Himself for crying out loud.

We are not far away from our destination of including Hijras into our society. Already some Hijras have become corporators, and some have taken to social work and other office jobs. Some Hijras also use their domestic capabilities as a way to earn money. Many Hijras are seamstresses and stitch for a living.

I on my part want to pour out my love for these biologically unique people via my writings which I am going to publish throughout this year. Many Indians want their India free from corruption, the drug trade, flesh trade, rape, scams etc. I am an Indian who simply wants a part of my biological family to be included in the mainstream life which they deserve to just as you and me. I want to see an India with no more Hijras begging on the street or using their bodies out of desperation to earn money. Just the way I am comfortable in my body, I want every Hijra of India to be comfortable in her or his body.

About the Author: Author is a writer and poet, she has written several books on poetry and short stories. She lives in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

6 Comments

  1. Very well put Fiza.

  2. Thank you Sir. I appreciate your support. :)

  3. wel!!! you looked at it differently and that thing is appreciable.
    i’m student of science and an admirer of a game invented in india we call it satranj(chess)
    so i can understand the value of looking at something in a different way. all i wanna apprise you that your way of viewing is different and seriously appreciable :)

  4. Thank you for appreciating my article. The Transgender community need
    our support. This is what I highlight in my short story Flesh of Flesh
    which is available on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.in/Flesh-Short-Story-Fiza-Pathan-ebook/dp/B00K6YAX8Y/

    If interested I invite you to read some short stories
    which appear on my blog http://insaneowl.wordpress.com/
    and Wattpad http://www.wattpad.com/user/fizapathan

    I am happy that a documentary will soon be made highlighting
    the plight of the Transgender community in India. Further information
    is available here: http://www.blacksheepdocumentary.com/

    Thank you once again for your feedback.

    Fiza

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