Updated: Jul 25, 2020

Endeavouring for the rights and after the past protests, finally the battle came to

an end on 5 th December 2019, when “THE TRANSGENDER PERSONS

(PROTECTION OF RIGHTS) ACT 2019” came into form as a symbol of

victory for the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals, Transgender,

Queer or questioning.) The act aims in protecting the rights of Trans and their

well-being and for the issues connected therewith any of the member of the

LGBTQ community. They have been now accepted as the part of society and no

longer confined under the chains of ignominy. According to the section 2(k) of

the act “‘transgender person’ means a person whose gender does not match

with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or

trans-woman (whether or not such person has undergone Sex reassignment

surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy), person

with intersex variations, genderqueer and person having socio-cultural

identities as kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta.”

The quintessential element of the act deals with the prohibition against

discrimination faced by transgender persons, recognition of identity of trans,

protecting rights and promoting the community, formulating welfare schemes

by the government and facilitating full access to the programmes, education,

social security and looking after the health of the trans. Plus a “National Council

For Transgender Persons” is formed consisting of ministers and others advising

the government, monitoring and evaluating the policies, coordinating and

reviewing the activities done for the transgender persons. The various acts of

denying the right to passage, indulging them in bonded labour, endangering life,

forcing to leave house or village etc. are now penalised and punishable with

imprisonment of a term or between 6- 2 yrs.

With the perquisite and privilege provided in the act, several aspects are

challenged, raising some indispensible questions. Firstly according to section 4

that gives ‘the right to be recognised as such’ but at the same time section 5 and

6 of the act hampers such self-identification as trans needed to be approved with

a certification by the district magistrate, it violate the articles 19 and 21 as

gender-identity which is a fundamental choice is protected under these articles

(19 and 21), also no mention of whether the DM has the discretion to reject the

application to be recognised as trans. Secondly section 3 talks about the

prohibition against the discrimination, but a right without a remedy has no

significance and is meaningless. The prohibition against discrimination is

mentioned in various spheres and fields in the act but no provision or penalty is

provided at the same time. Thirdly section 18 stipulate punishment up to 2 years

of imprisonment for offences mentioned as earlier but for the similar offences in

other context like women in case of rape the punishment is outrageous and more

severe and this aspect is somewhere a raising a big question on article 14. Last

but not the least the certification provided signifies a proof showing the sex

reassignment surgery; which is expensive and not agreeable to all Trans. Also

violation of right to privacy and contradicting the NALSA 2014 judgement by

SC giving Trans the right to self- identity.

There is a long road to LGBTQ equality and acceptance as a part of society. The

people are gradually accepting the fact but still equal footing like every other is

still in an undergoing process. It’s not about what our religion says, what

humanity talks about or what the society thinks, each and every person whether

be a men, women, trans or any member of LGBTQ, on this globe is a human

first and a holder of human rights to express themselves, live with pride,

respect and dignity!!!

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