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As a cisgender person who
identifies with their gender, I have been privileged enough to live
a life where for the most part I do not struggle with being and
As a cisgender person who identifies with their gender, I have been privileged enough to live a life where for the most part I do not struggle with being and feeling alien in my own body. Its taken me nineteen years to realise the extent of this privilege. Gender perhaps is one of the biggest parts of ones social identity. Unlike sexuality, that can be kept firmly buried in the closet, gender is more public. Gender does not offer the privacy that ones sexual orientation does, it is open and exposed for the world to see. The struggle that a trans-person has to go through mentally is taxing. To identify with one gender and yet be perceived as the other because of ones physical appearance seems chaotic. The exclusion and stigma they face from society coupled with the above do them no favours. Perhaps the problem is that as a cisgender person, it is easy for us to establish a division between mind and body. We regard both as two separate entities that though operate in parallel are different. In reality, the dichotomy of mind and body is a myth. For a trans-person, they feel and think of themselves belonging to the gender they identify with. If the affirmation of their gender comes from us, then maybe it is us who should learn to acknowledge and accept. For most of us, the contact we have with trans-people is limited to them begging on roads, trains or buses. Even then none of the meetings are in favourable light; one brushes them off as a general nuisance or as unimportant. Most cis people are unaware or just ignore the segregation that trans-people face from the government, the employment sector, from the medical sector, from general society and even their families. The one thing that perhaps one can keep in mind is that a trans-person does not want sympathy but perhaps a kind smile, the ten rupees they ask for and just a little solidarity can go a long way.