The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 currently being tabled in the Rajya Sabha, has been strongly critiqued, and rejected by the trans community due to its contentious and violating nature
The Winter Session of the Parliament commenced on 18th November, and the impending tabling of the regressive Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha began on 20th November. The Bill had been earlier passed by the Lower House in August.
Despite its deceiving nomenclature, the Bill in fact offers no protection or real mainstreaming measures for the Indian trans community and instead, reeks of transphobia and ignorance. The bill stands to dehumanize and further ostracize the marginalised community.
For trans people to legally identify as a different gender,the Bill purports a two-step procedure. The step of ‘screening and certification’ in front of a district magistrate and a medical screening committee, under this procedure, is an arbitrary and demeaning measure that violates the personhood, agency and privacy of a trans person. This measure reflects the Bill’s narrow and ignorant understanding of ‘gender’. It also stands in contradiction of the 2014 NALSA Judgement passed by the apex court that granted the right of self-identification.
The Bill rejects the need for reservation for transgender people in education, healthcare, and employment, denying the reality of how transgender people do not have an undemanding or safe access to these, due to lack of financial resources and rampant discrimination.
Further, the bill mandates transgender people to live with their birth families, where they are most often met with rejection and hostility. It denies them the right to live with their chosen families/communities/partners etc. Thus, the Bill criminalises traditional Hijra livelihoods and families. The Bill gives a maximum sentence of 2 years to anyone who sexually violates a transgender person which upon comparison with the extension of a sentence up to lifetime upon the violation of a cisgender woman, reveals how the bill blatantly encodes discrimination against transgender people with lower penalties for violence against them.
The following Instagram post, by @theypfoundation via @inbreakthrough follows the intricacies of the Tran Bill, in conversation with Bittu, a scientist and a gender queer transman.
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The Transgender Bill is currently in the Rajya Sabha. Here is a refresher on what it is and why it is problematic. #flawsinlaws Posted @withrepost • @inbreakthrough The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 was recently passed in the Lok Sabha. The trans community has been raising many concerns about the bill, here’s why: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ____________________________________________ #TransBill #transbill2019 #killthetransbill #loksabha #news #transrights #transcommunity #translivesmatter #passthemic #listentotransvoices #demands #reservations #statement #killthebill #killbill #transrightsarehumanrights #transrightsmatter #transvoices #transvoicesmatter #discrimination #violence #transphobia #queerphobia #supporttransrights #transgenderrights
Ray R, a transwoman studying law at University of Delhi says (via Twitter), “The trans community believes that the current Bill being discussed in the Rajya Sabha makes a mockery of their personhood, community, rights and only adds to everyday humiliation and violation…”
On 24th and 25th November, Delhi and Bengaluru respectively, witnessed the Delhi Queer Pride and the Namma Pride. As thousands flocked to celebrate at the processions, many wore black to stand in support with the trans community and protest the regressive Trans Bill.
Feature Image Credits: Vaibhav Tekchandni
Story Image Credits: Jaishree Kumar for DU Beat