‘Transgender community needs to form support groups that give legal aid’

HYDERABAD:  For Indian transgender community to find their right place in India’s legal system, they need to start forming support groups that provide legal aid at local community levels and work with law schools, says Jessica Lynn, international speaker and transgender advocate from California, USA. She was in Hyderabad to speak to students from Indian Institute of Information Technology on Tuesday. “I see poverty among the transgender community in India with their job opportunities reduced to prostitution or begging on the streets,” says Lynn.

There is a notion in US that transpersons are incapable or not good enough to do a job and crime against them too exists. The Indian society is better in accepting the community but they do consider them outcasts, she added.Transgender rights movements across the US gained momentum after the creation of local support groups that slowly gained legal teeth. “In our local area, there were a few transgender support groups that educated the general public and held conferences. I have seen a huge amount of change in the legal scene through these groups. For India, the route to better laws for transgenders can come through the law schools and universities,” she added.
However, the US president Donald Trump’s administration have been cracking down on the transgender community rolling back their rights, since his rise to power. “The US SC last week reversed an earlier judgement. Now they say it is okay for the baker not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Does this mean a doctor can reject me treatment based on his or her religious views?” questioned Lynn.

“There is a need for more support systems in the US under the Trump administration. But for support groups to succeed in India it needs more local people to support it,” she added.


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