“We are parents, siblings and kins. We are your colleagues, and your neighbours. We are a diverse community, representing all racial, ethnic and faith backgrounds,” says Neysara Rai the founder of TransgenderIndia a grievance platform for trans people.
Living their life in a society where the right to declare their gender is jeopardised, the recent Trans Person (Protection of Rights) Bill persuaded Neysara and few other trans women activists to launch the campaign #RapeisRape.
Stating an excerpt from the bill that refers to the offences against a trans person and the penalties for the same, Neysara says, “It is unclear what this bill is trying to imply by diluting penalties, with a maximum sentence of 2 years. If endangering the life and safety of a person is gender neutral, why is there a need for gender based gradation on such heinous crimes?”
She adds, “Transgender women are women, trans men are forced to experience femininity by the patriarchal society. We live with no social or legal rights. It is discriminatory to let sexual offenders of transgender people walk out scot free in six months to two years. Whereas the country’s law states raping heterosexual women is sentenced to seven years or life imprisonment.”
Aditya MK a trans male who is perplexed with the need for a separate law for transgender people shares, “Gender shouldn’t be defined by law. This will only facilitate more crime against the trans community.”
Deepika Balraj a tans woman says, “While we are at that stage of wanting a death penalty for perpetrators who rape a heterosexual female, why this discrimination with us? How do gender preferences play a role in the safety of a person? By this bill we can clearly see the government and society outcasting us.”
Nishtha a trans woman activist says, “We are highly vulnerable and prone to being sexually assaulted. Any offence against us must not be limited to a short term. The bill must be amended immediately. Only then it will genuinely serve the purpose.”
Through this campaign Neysara and the other activists want the government to come out with a rational solution and must decrease hurdles for people to legally express their gender identity....