A woman named Rose will be making Indian history later this month when she becomes the nation’s first transgender television host:
For the first time in the history of Indian television, a transgender will anchor a talk show on a Tamil channel, Star Vijay, titled Ippadikku Rose (Yours Rose), glamourising a gender condemned to begging and sex work.
A 28-year-old transgender, Rose, hailing from Chennai, will come on air about issues hitherto considered ‘hush hush’ like homosexuality, alternative sexuality, child abuse, sex abuse and generally things labeled as taboo.
While some may think such a pigeon-holed role will simply perpetuate Rose’s outsider status, the former chemical engineer remains hopeful her gig will open eyes:
There are lots of misconceptions about transgenders and unfortunately, the media have also so far concentrated on negative aspects of the third gender. But, given a right opportunity, they will also progress and become productive citizens. I hope my presence in the media will have a positive impact and change people’s attitude towards my community.
That’s especially important in INdia, where politicians continue to uphold the colonial era’s anti-gay laws, Section 377. India’s gays, however, seem to be thriving despite the archaic rules. We gays sure are a resilient bunch.