In our primary courses, we had a friend by the name of Manish. He excelled in academics. He used to play with us and his other male buddies when we were in primary school with the other kids. As we grew older and entered the puberty stage, everyone’s bodies underwent fast change. Manish has begun acting rather differently from the rest of us. He began to stand up straight and walk like a girl, and he displayed an interest in women’s accessories like jewellery and cosmetics as well as in dressing like a lady. As time went on, every student in our class began to abuse and taunt him, calling him names like Kiner and Chakka, hurled erasers, chalk, duster, and other objects at him.

He began to withdraw from people and enjoy being by himself. We used to chat to Manish a lot because he was a good buddy of ours. Don’t you feel sad that everyone is so disrespectful to you? “, we would frequently question him. Why do you act in this manner? Do you actually enjoy dressing up as a woman? “I know I’m not like other people”, he replied. “I wasn’t made this way. I feel like this is who I am whenever I dress up or imagine myself as a woman. This is who I am. So why is being who I want to be considered so wrong?  Don’t we have the right to live our lives as we please?”

One Manish used to enjoy dressing himself as a woman and admiring himself in the mirror for hours on end. Unfortunately, his parents caught him red-handed as he was discreetly dressing as a woman. They were so stunned at first that they were unsure of how to respond. Of course it took them some time to realise their child is transgender. They were silent for a few days, and Manish worried that his parents would reject him if they found out about his gay orientation. He had never stopped being afraid. After a little while, his father embraced him and told him, “Mannu, we never judged you. We will always adore you, regardless of what people may think. And you make me proud.

After hearing this, Manish experienced a wide range of emotions, and his dread of being abandoned by his parents vanished completely. Manish has experienced a lot of difficulties in his life and continues to do so, yet he is still standing firm like a pillar in the Strom and working hard to pursue his desired vocation in cosmetology. With the support of his parents and friends, he is self-assured in his transgender identity and has created a world where, no matter what, you have to believe in yourself. Sexuality has never been an issue for us; it’s all about the different perceptions and superstitious beliefs of people living in our society.