I am a third gender

Dhananjay Chauhan Mangalmukhi

I am a transgender, the first transgender student of Punjab University Chandigarh!

I am from a very middle class family where talking about sex is taboo! I was born in Uttarakhand & my birth was reason for double celebration as a boy was born in the family & my father got a government job. I was also blessed by the hijras on my birth, interesting they also could not identity that I am also as special as them, I am a third gender. Soon after my birth my parent shifted to Chandigarh, growing up I realized I was different from other kids. I was shy & bubbly.

Gradually as I grew, a woman inside me started establishing her identity and at the age of 3-4 I used to do the same thing which my mother or other women used to do! It was an instinctive trend that gets a woman from birth too!

When I was 5 years old, I was enrolled in a government school I was always ahead of all the students, whether it is studying, music or dance. The teachers were always happy with me. Everything was going on normal. I still remember when I was 5 years old, according to religious rituals, I had to be shaved because everybody thought I was a man, so it was necessary to cut the hair of my head so many guests came in the house. New clothes were purchased for everyone! Pant-shirt was bought for me too! But when it was showed me, I rejected it at first sight and refused to wear! I wanted a girl frock. My parents explained to me that you are a boy and boys do not wear frock, I did not listen to one of them! I stuck to my point! They finally brought a frock for me!

Many new friendships were getting formed, but there were a lot of girls; it was not that I deliberately made friends with girls, it was a natural process! The girls understood my feelings well and their choice was similar to my choice! The girls who played the game also liked me too! Boys played hockey or football, which I did not like much!

My family and neighbors were very happy because their sons were roaming all day long, they did not even study, but I used to do studies in addition to helping my mother with house chores.

When I was 9-10 years old, I became friends with a boy living in the neighborhood, he was 4-5 years older than me. Slowly we both began to love each other, we were unable to live without each other! I liked to meet him, live together and sleep together! I used to wait for him for hours! When I was 12 years old, natural changes began to come in my body and a tremendous boom of love and attraction started to feel in my mind! When the love of heart and mind turned into physical love, nothing was known! This series continued when I reached 18-19 years of age! And this time my friend got married! He got busy in his family life. The person who loved me for hours spent my time explaining to me that this is not all right and now we have grown up and now we have to think about our life! He said that he has got married, now he will not be able to give me time and if someone knows about this then his family life can end! He easily told me that if you need any other man then he will also arrange for that too! I told him that you have gone crazy! You do not care about my feelings at all! You were with me just for this that your body’s needs were getting fulfilled!

He had spoken to two of his friends about me that they were to continue to have relations with me! For these people, there is no cost of love with a transgender, because there is no end to this love, they feel that it is not the truth of life! People feel like we are a toy made by nature when you want, play and later throw it away!

Since class 4 the male classmates used to make fun of me, they used to spit on me, always used to make fun of me! All men and women begin to be attracted towards their opposite sex from the age of 12, and I also started getting attracted towards men, which is a natural phenomenon! I started worrying about my sexual identity, I did not understand who I am. I am completely a woman from inside. But the texture of the body was quite like a man. My soul and body were not aligned, they were different. And because of this turmoil my academics began to suffer, I barely passed tenth grade. I tried to commit suicide twice but somehow survived!

In the absence of sex education, and knowledge about gender identity & sexuality, we are losing the lives of millions of people.

I concealed my identity and focused on studies, I got the first prize in my Bachelor Degree in 1993 thereafter I got admission in the Master of History department of Punjab University. I faced a lot of bullying from fellow students & had to drop, later I signed up for evening law classes. Some students ragged me and paraded me naked in the whole class room, and made me perform unspeakable task! I also left the law course. Then I took admission in the diploma course in Computer Science! Discrimination continued everywhere, whether it be a college or a university, a job place, a hospital, discrimination everywhere.

I had started thinking that such incidents would continue to happen with me! I decided that now I have to stand for myself and in order to change such thinking in society, I will have to fight! I am a transgender and there is no harm in it! This is my personal matter how I live! What to wear! Which gender I decide to live in! Whom should I like and with whom I live my life! Society cannot determine what will be my gender!

I had started thinking that before going out of this world I would make such an environment for some incoming transgender where there is no discrimination and there is equal rights for everyone in the society! First of all, I started preparing my family for it!

I started engaging with the community & helping them get access to healthcare, worked hard to get the Pride events started in Chandigarh, getting necessary permissions, arranging funds even putting in a lakh from personal saving. It has been a long journey but now I was getting full support from all sides! I’m very proud of myself! In 2009, I joined the first national level seminar organized by the Foundation in collaboration with the UNDP in New Delhi! This seminar proved to be a milestone for me. From 2010 to 2015, I joined every training session on behalf of the Chandigarh State AIDS Society and got information about AIDS. In 2012, I joined the Red Ribbon Tran Campaign, which went to town and gave information about AIDS to every railway station. From this I got information about AIDS and all the incurable diseases. I was made a Master Trainer on behalf of NACO and India HIV AIDS Alliance, I have been training the health workers of AIDS in many states of India.

In 2016, I joined the Department of Human Rights as a transgender at the University of Punjab! I passed every entrance exam with very good points and I did not need any reservation because my points were very good. I am proud to be the first transgender student of Punjab University but I have responsibilities towards many transgender community too! I am related to the Raikee family of the Kinnar society and my master is Kajal Mangalakumi! My guru gave me a lot! Standing with me in every happiness and sorrow!

Today, when I look back over the past years in which I had to endure grief and discrimination! When I think about the atrocities I suffered, I pray to God that God should not show anyone such a days as I have witnessed!

We do not want sympathy, we need acceptance!

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