September 16, 2020
We’ll get to the wedding, but here’s a quick context of the political situation of the transgender bill to understand how historic the whole deal is.
On August 5th, the Lok Sabha, passed a bill that provides a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders.
The Transgender Persons Bill said it makes provision for establishing a national authority for safeguarding rights of transgenders.
The Provisions of the Bill:
In the bill, there are provisions for penalty and punishment in cases of offenses and sexual harassment against transgender persons and can choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy.
The bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person in areas such as education, employment, and healthcare. It directs the central and state governments to provide welfare schemes in these areas.
This Bill also gives them the freedom to marry whomever they love and lead a happy life.
The Bill is a great step by the Government towards the Trans Community, while there are many societies in India that are bringing a change by accepting transgender marriages.
One such couple recently tied a knot in Kolkata and here is more to it:
The city’s first rainbow transgender wedding celebrated amidst friends and family. The couple underwent sex reassignment surgery and got engaged in April on India’s National Transgender Day of Visibility and announced their decision to tie the knot in what is now known as Kolkata’s first ‘rainbow wedding’.
Tista, the bride, is an activist, and an actress for several Hindi and Bengali films, met Dipan(the groom) while working at a transgender legal clinic.
Draped in a traditional Benarsi Red Sari, the bride looked radiant and married Dipin in a Hindu Ceremony.
Dipin’s family stayed away from the social event, whereas Tista’s family was in full support if the wedding.
Tista’s mother has been steadfast in her support. Born as Sushanto Das, a man from a Kolkata suburb, Tista got a new identity as a transwoman after undergoing sex reassignment surgery after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria in her childhood.
Tista’s mother Subhra who said: “I am happy to see my daughter settle down with someone like Dipan.”
As an Activist:
Tista is a vocal champion of the transsexual rights making numerous public appearances challenging gender stereotypes and prejudices. Numerous members of the transgender community from Kolkata took part in the event.
The members of the West Bengal Transgender Board Ranjita Sinha expressed her concern while wishing the new couple luck.
What the Couple had to say:
“We are all ecstatic, not just me but each and everyone who has supported us. It has indeed been a tough ride, facing stiff social stigma. Therefore, this day has special significance in all our lives. And what adds to it is the fact that we could choose our life partner,” said Tista, Bengal’s first transsexual woman with a voter ID card.
“We are feeling awesome actually. We are out of the gender box and we love to be an exception and we think this is a strong bond between us,” Tista Das said.
“It’s a bond of love. It’s a bond of liberty also,” she said. “And this is the solidarity of our souls.
“Being social outcasts we only hope this day sends out a message for people to realize that we are humans too, we do have feelings as well and have possibilities in life. I can only hope mindsets change and people come out of fear,” Dipan said.
The Guests said:
Aparajita Bose, a member of Human Rights Law Network Kolkata also had sweet words for the newlyweds. ‘This wedding will boost the transgender community. It will have a huge impact as the trans community fears being rejected by society.
I wish Dipan and Tista a happy married life. They are both wonderful human beings.’
Tista’s friend Shreya, who is also a transwoman and works at a dance bar in Delhi, said, “Tista has set an example for the community. It takes a lot of guts to do this.”
“I attended the wedding as Tista has been a long-time comrade in our struggle. I am happy for her personal choice, however, I am worried that transgender rights might be confused with women’s rights. Why does a transwoman need to accept patriarchy to seek social equality?” Ranjita Sinha, the member of the Transgender Board West Bengal questioned adding that transgenders still don’t have most of the rights enjoyed by any other citizen, like inheritance, etc.
This Wedding could have a huge impact, boosting the transgender community in India. The community also fears rejection by the society they are living in and are forced into prostitution, begging or menial jobs for a living.
Over the years, they have been through a lengthy battle to protect their rights and discrimination. And that is why this wedding is the rainbow wedding we should all be celebrating.