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 â€˜hush hushâ€™ 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 peopleâ€™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.