Transgender Indians Protest Problematic Protection Bill

Members of India’s transgender community protested the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, which was designed to protect them and their rights, reported The Times of India.

Although the bill was meant to help the community, it has been highly controversial among trans, intersex, and non-conforming Indians. Protestors said lawmakers were unwilling consult the trans community about the bill and therefore it includes provisions that could negatively affect the community.

According to Gay Star News, these problematic provisions include requiring individuals to undergo “screening committees” in order to determine if they are trans, placing the label of trans on intersex people, and banning begging and sex work – how many trans people receive income.

One of the protestors, a trans woman named Madhumita, told The Times of India that these provisions, particularly the one criminalizing begging, were dangerous to the trans community.

“There is nothing that provides alternative employment opportunities,” she said. “It is precisely because of a rigid mindset and discrimination at the workplace that transgenders resort to begging.”

The group of protestors, which consisted of more than 25 members of India’s trans community, said they would conduct a hunger strike in response to the bill.

The bill has passed through India’s lower parliamentary house and still needs to be ratified by the upper house to pass.