We live in a country where judgments are fast and harassment is common. What pains me the most is the fact that our eyes have become so blind that we blatantly ignore the everyday plight of the weaker communities, may they be transgenders, lgbtqi+, tribal people, or other marginalized communities. Discrimination is so common in our country that people have now developed a thick skin towards the atrocities that people have to suffer daily. Sadly, empathy is no more. Imagine there are eyes filled with hatred and disgust, words filled with abuse that follow you wherever you go. How difficult it must be to live as a transgender in India. Now here is a story of a transgender who rose above all the hatred and discrimination of society and how she became the first transgender judge of the country.
Joyita Mondal was born as a male in a traditional Hindu family in West Bengal. She was named Joyonto at that time. She was a man who was born as a girl and had to prove herself every day that she was man enough for the world. She suffered for her identity in society. She had to drop out of school because the boys in her school would not stop bullying her. She was in class 10th. The saddening part here is that even the children, the minds that are still developing, the minds which don’t have much knowledge as to how the society works, know how to impose gender norms by default. Tells us much about the parenting and how confined their parent’s minds are. Joyita had to lie to her family by saying that she had got a job in Dinajpur, left her home in 2009, and never came back. Just imagine that you are being denied food or lodging even though you have money and are willing to pay as much is required. It’s so basic to provide money and obtain goods and or services, the world thrives on it.
Sadly Joyita was refused food and lodging in hotels and money was never the issue her identity was. She then started working in an office for Rs. 5000/- where she used to socialize with LGBT people. Wait for a few years and she started her own NGO in Islampur which was in Uttar Dinajpur through which she not only expanded her support to the LGBT community but also to any person regardless of their identity, who have faced discrimination. She worked on different social issues and had a strong rapport with the district-level government.
With the respect and popularity she gained with her works for the welfare of the society, she was appointed as the 1st Transgender Judge at the Lok Adalat Civil Court in July 2017. She took charge of the social worker post in the 3-Judge Lok Adalat bench consisting of a judge, an advocate, and a social worker.
The court was minutes away from the bus station where she used to spend the nights taking shelter. Almost 10 years after walking out of her home, she became the first transgender judge in the history of the country. She had to suffer countless sleepless nights, was denied even the basic necessaties, had to sleep on bus stands, had to leave her home, her school, her parents and her whole life behind just because the typical Indian society did not deem her fit. Imagine thousands of transgender having to face the same ordeal.
How can people develop hatred towards a particular community, even when they have done them no harm?
Is it so important for people to come out of their ways just to harass or bully a transgender person?
Are they so empty? Are their lives so shallow? Do they have nothing more important in life?
People should not be judged based on how they identify themselves, that is a personal choice where no one commands any say other than the person themselves. The cost of living in India mentally is much more as compared to in monetary terms. Hypocrisy is common and unfortunately, the people who are strong enough to show their true identity to the world are sadly the ones to suffer from those people who wear a new mask daily.
“Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect. And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us.” – Caitlyn Jenner.
Image Source EBNW Story
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