Trinetra, an aspiring surgeon, artist and a proud trans woman. She is a fierce voice for the young trans community of India and making a difference in their lives by documenting her journey from being Angad to Trinetra.
FSOG had the pleasure of interviewing this beautiful lady, below are the transcripts of the interview along with Trinetra’s transition video, it is beautiful and personally moved me to tears.
How has life changed post your transition?
Before transitioning, it’s almost as if I had a giant burden upon my shoulders that I wasn’t even aware of. During those tiny occasions, when I would experiment with androgyny the burden would be lifted. Having started transitioning, the burden seems to be getting smaller everyday. I feel so much more at peace, so much happier. I feel like life this way was always just meant to be. Sure it comes with a lot of staring, comments and judgement, sexism. But it’s still worth it. This is who I was meant to be.
Any significant event that changed your perspectives on the LGBT community or the hetero – normative society we live in?
I never knew that India even had a “community”, there was a time when I was a naïve 14 year old and had no idea about the spaces that existed in society and the isolation of that was suffocating. The first time I went to a support group changed my life, because it showed me that I wasn’t alone. It gave me permission to be myself.
What is your aspiration in life?
To help people. Through my tiny bits of activism, online or off, and my medical profession.
As a transwoman in the medical field how do you think the administration/ med schools could contribute to building awareness about the LGBTQIA individuals?
Firstly, they should get rid of outdated medical textbooks at the MCI level. Then, they should conduct gender/sexuality related workshops for all faculty members, and introduce it during orientation for new batches. They should definitely also provide gender neutral accommodation for those that want it, and not deny female and male identifying transpeople the respective hostels. The thing is, it doesn’t take a brainiac to figure out what can be done. The problem is getting the higher up to move their butts. Always.
Do you think being a medical student has given you a unique perspective towards the LGBT community? If so, how?
Absolutely. I see the prejudice and blatant ignorance that exists in the medical profession about the LGBTQ+ community, and the hostility that is transferred from the pages of an outdated textbook to generations of medical students and doctors. But, as a transwoman and as someone that is extremely vocal about trans and queer rights, I have a voice, an opportunity to create change. I try to do that as much as I can.
How did you find the courage to come out in a society that does not see the LGBT community in a good light and has a hard time accepting them?
I knew that I had what it takes to be successful in the field I’d chosen, and with that, came the realisation that if I didn’t come out, it would ruin my mental health, and everything I could have been will go down the drain. I decided to make use of my privilege, not give a damn about what people think, and just live my life.
A piece of advice to the trans youth of India.
It gets better. It really does. I know for a fact that my story is infinitely better than what many, many people go through, but the stigma that society throws our way is constant. The depression, self-harm, isolation, bullying, a lot of it ended with high school. I found strength in getting away from the toxicity of it all, and started a new life. This time very often, does come for most of us. It’s a matter of waiting it out, taking it one day at a time, and eventually finding the help you need. It gets better.
By Shreyanka Thejaswi