Tough times for India's transgender community

Transgender people in India face turbulent times, as top court reinstates ban on gay sex.


India's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community has reacted with shock and horror to Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling, reinstating a ban on gay sex.

Hundreds have poured onto the streets across cities since then, expressing their collective outrage at the verdict they say drags the community back into "medieval ages".

While calls grow for rescinding the ruling, politicians, legal luminaries and actors alike, have joined the chorus of criticism on the ban on "sex between two consenting adults".

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The top court's ruling ends a brief interlude when the much-misunderstood LGBT community felt they had a rightful place in the country. A High Court in 2009 had struck down a law that criminalized gay sex with long jail terms, and unshackled them to lead normal lives.

But its back to square one now, and the LGBT community is bracing for a fresh protracted battle to earn back its rights.

It's the toughest for the transgender community to live in a social milieu that has very little understanding of them and subjects them to regular ridicule.

For years, they have loudly proclaimed that they were perfectly normal human beings, albeit with a different sexual orientation. But as society struggles to understand and embrace them, transgenders continue to live on the margins.

They laugh, cry, love, despise, dream, despair and do everything else as everyone else does. Only, life seems a lot tougher for transgenders with mindsets stacked against them.