The emotional realities of cross-dressing in India
Cross-dressers often face discrimination in real life, despite media portrayals. There's a misconception that they are always transgender, but clothing doesn't define gender identity
Hiten Noonwal, who started cross-dressing when they were a teenager, discovered acceptance and safe spaces within India's LGBTQ community, primarily in major urban hubs like New Delhi and Mumbai. These spaces have allowed them to authentically express their gender-fluid identity. Today, Noonwal is a performer in clubs and events.
"Whatever I am doing has nothing to do with who I am for society. It has everything to do with me because I feel happy doing it. Because if I didn’t do it, I would probably fall mentally sick," they say while sharing their journey with DW, discussing the obstacles they encountered while expressing their identity.