A transgender, who hopes to be a bride one day
I was born as Sachin Yadav. I always felt that I am someone else but who? This was not clear to me
From Sachin to Sweety, Sheena, Rihanna – in search of my soul I changed many names. I ended up with Rihanna, after a deliberation, because I like the name as well as the free spirit that Hollywood singer symbolises.
There are many in the world who are blessed with definite identities; some of them are known by their caste, some by their religion, gender, money etc but for me, my ‘identity’ came through a gut-wrenching search.
I was born as Sachin Yadav. I always felt that I am someone else but who? This was not clear to me. At the age of six, for the first time, I realised that I was different from my brothers.
This happened after a disgusting incident. A group of boys tried to sodomise me when I was playing football in a park in my colony. After the incident, my mother held me captive for years in the house. I was not allowed to play with the boys. What the heck! One day she beat me up badly and cursed me for my girlish looks.
I liked dressing up like a girl. I liked using lipstick and kajal. At 12, people were hurling cuss words, sexist remarks at me. When I would come out in the evening, with makeup, people would call, “Dekho LG ja raha hai.” For them LG meant – lady and gentleman.
These remarks hurt but it helped me also to realise my identity. Social stigma associated with the word LG enhanced my understanding of myself which later developed in the understanding of LGBT.
By the time I was 13, I knew that my body and my soul were foreigners to each other. There are millions of people like me in this world. One day I was roaming around in a market when I saw faces like me. It came to me as a shock, as well as, a big relief.
I did not know the meaning of the word “gay” till someone explained it to me. Now, I say, “Yes, I am gay, a Kinnar, a Hijra, a transgender woman – call me whatever you like but I will not be ashamed.”
My life would have taken a different path, perhaps. A path of destruction, if it had not been for Kashish. Today, whatever I am, is because of her. I met Kashish in an awareness programme organised by an NGO, which she was already working with. Kashish took me along with her for a walk in the city that evening. I found a true friend, a companion and an adviser – all in one.
After I completed class XII, Kashish’s got me job in an NGO. With my first salary I bought a Tata DoCoMo. My first outgoing was call was to Kashish’s phone, and the first call to me, was from her. I cannot forget the pleasure of talking to Kashish. These were liberating moments of my life. It has been over two-and-a-half years of our friendship, and our bond is getting stronger day by day.
My identity is always a cause of conflict. My brothers do not like the way I live. When I decided to grow my hair, they vehemently opposed it.
When day-to-day quarrels at home became unbearable in 2013, I left my home. For a few days, I stayed with Kashish. Later, I moved into a rented accommodation. I have bought everything including TV, refrigerator and a bed. My family was surprised. Living with independence is always a blessing. Emboldened and more confident, I am now, better prepared to face the world.
The only link between me and my family is my younger sister. My life took another turn, when my sister called me saying that my mother wants me to come back to home as she needs financial help for the renovation of the house for Diwali.
My father died when I was a child. I do not remember him. My mother bore the responsibility of six children, doing menial jobs. I know fulfilling the responsibility of motherhood is not an easy task. My anger vanishes when I recall her hardships. I decided to go back to my home. I pay around `5,000 for my expenses to my mother in lieu of food and room, which I share with my sister. I am happy, that I can help.
I am also happy that my family members – mother, brothers and sisters have accepted my identity as a trans woman. I do not interact much or mingle with the society but I feel nice when I see a shadow acceptance in their eyes.
These days, I am dating a trans man from Haryana. He fell for me when he saw me dancing at an event. He proposed to me in front of everybody. If all goes well, we are planning to marry by end of the next year. I’d like to a bride.