“I was given electric shocks and even put in an asylum to be cured.”
That’s just one of many incredibly unsettling accounts from the Indian Civilian Welfare Foundation’s (CWF) report on Transgender issues in public health.
The study didn’t set out to determine if the problem was serious — that was already clear — but instead to try and gauge just how bad things are. The result? Very, very bad.
Transphobia is rampant in Indian culture, and the anecdotes from trans women (the CWF had difficulty finding any trans men to even participate) paint an upsetting picture.
There’s the train accident victim who died because officials couldn’t decide whether to admit them to a male or female ward, a trans victim of gang rape who was refused examination or treatment by a doctor (who also failed to recommend any anti-HIV medication), and countless stories of discrimination such as visiting the doctor and having, “all the staff including the nurses, the ward boys, attendants, even the security laughs at us, points a finger at us and makes derogatory comments.”
India is currently experiencing a burst in STDs and HIV infections, and the fact that many of those most at risk feel afraid to engage in the country’s healthcare system is a tragedy for everybody — gay, trans and straight alike.
The CWF has unsurprisingly determined that the entire healthcare system needs massive reform and community education. Until then, it’s likely the transgender community will continue to keep distance.
h/t: Gay Star News