“When people think of transgenders, the first image in their heads is usually of a beggar or a sex worker. With a major section of the society still being condescending to those who don’t conform to ideas of gender binary, it will take us a few more decades if not centuries to live with acceptance and dignity.
Now In my case specifically, it was a tough predicament having been assigned male by birth. ‘Sudhakar’ the boy was what the world saw when in reality, everything about me was feminine- right from emotions to demeanour and even my outlook! And thus started the lifelong battle between my own body and mind, where the former felt like a trap, with no connection to my true identity within.
And if the psychological struggles weren’t enough already, I was at the face of major bullying right from school. Plus living in a conservative joint family, with a single mother struggling for her finances, there was no way I could be my true self! Education itself was a luxury and the weight of the world gave no space for me to own my identity proudly.
Or at least that’s what I thought before being introduced by a senior to an organization which works with the transgender community. For the first time in 19 years, I saw others like me, thriving with their unique personalities and that was, indeed, a refreshing change!
I guess my journey took a hopeful turn from then, with me finally mustering the courage to come out of the closet.
From Sudhakar, I became ‘Swetha’ and started working towards my life’s purpose of changing the narrative surrounding transgender folks. In a few years, I also launched my own trust ‘Born to win’ and started working holistically on various causes for my community. Of course, there were obstacles at every given step, but with a vision in place and like-minded well-wishers by my side, I’ve been able to work on areas including education, career opportunities and even old-age housing. Some of our members are now placed in the top MNCs of the world, and nothing makes me happier than being a catalyst for their success!
Plus all this done sustainably by my own efforts without any CSR or governmental proceeds, additionally makes me want to give myself a pat on the back. Regardless of the fights, in the end, it does pay off to be truly at peace with yourself, and work with all your heart! Going forward I hope to be a role model to all queers all while providing them the advantages that I couldn’t leverage myself!”