Even though I am not suicidal anymore, there is a part of me who wants to end this in some way which would spare my parents the guilt or shame that a suicide can bring. But at the thought of transitioning and leading a normal (or the closest to it) life one day, I find warmth. After months of thinking out all scenarios and outcomes, I decided to come out of the closet. In the IITM Confessions Facebook page, I decided to write two or three lines about me being trans. But when I was done, I found the confession to be a page long. After I wrote the first draft, which took 3 hours, I knew what had to be done. I realised that  I want to transition. However, when I scrolled past my confession, I saw another one which disheartened me. It was a post insisting that transgender people are stupid for getting a sex change and that they don’t deserve public sympathy. My confession, which I poured out my heart to write, did not reach any of my close friends or people whom I knew well. However this one, even though less popular, was approved by people I knew.

[I saw] a post insisting that transgender people are stupid for getting a sex change and that they don’t deserve public sympathy. My confession, which I poured out my heart to write, did not reach any of my close friends or people whom I knew well. However this one, even though less popular, was approved by people I knew.

To the person who wrote that confession and several others who criticize us without knowing the problems we face, I ask you this —

  • Have you ever kept a secret so big, so long that you think you will lose your sanity if you don’t tell anyone?
  • Ever experienced a mixture of terror and hatred everytime you look in the mirror?
  • Ever felt yourself being torn apart every time you see a man or woman who is confident and comfortable being who they are and realizing that you could never be comfortable like that?
  • Every time you share a laugh with your group of friends, do you fear how much of this will last once they find out your secret?

Even if you decide to reveal your secret, you have the difficulty of choosing whom to tell first. And once you tell them, you cannot make them unknow it. The few people with whom you decide to be vulnerable, from whom you are seeking soothing words might be the ones that hurt you most. These people with whom you forget your troubles and whose company you enjoy will never look at you the same. Most probably they will not have the same closeness as you had before.

I want to come out to my friends soon.

…If the nation’s future leaders are from IITs, and if IITians look down on people like me, when will the nation accept us in society for who we are?

I am sure that I will lose all ties to my family after I tell them. I knew this would happen around the time I started preparing for JEE, and have tried to distance myself from them to make the separation easier. My biggest concern as of now is whether I will lose my friends when I transition. I want to come out to my friends soon. But every time I try, I see some other student in IITM go on a rant against the LGBTQ+ community and once even a horribly turned out debate among my friends. I might be wrong in many of my observations and might have a pessimistic view of the atmosphere in campus. But I am sure that the campus is far from where it should be. How many years will it take for a student in IITM to openly say that he/she is gay, bi or transgender without being judged and ostracized? If the nation’s future leaders are from IITs, and if IITians look down on people like me, when will the nation accept us in society for who we are?

I don’t expect the institute to change overnight for the better, but I expect the insti community to be a little more open-minded and judge us only after getting to know more about us

I study in IIT Madras now mainly because I wanted to get away from my parents. If IITs were more open, I know that more people like me will follow. And for this marginalised community, a degree from an IIT can make the difference between being able to hold a job and getting fired. I don’t expect the institute to change overnight for the better, but I expect the insti community to be a little more open-minded and judge us only after getting to know more about us. And finally to my friends who may soon hear about this part of me, I plead you to hear me out fully and learn more about the LGBTQ+ community before (if) you decide to distance yourself from me. You might resent the idea of a friend who is transgender, but I hope you will keep an open mind.

 

 

 

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