The local government of one of India’s largest states, Karnataka, last week appointed its first transgender employee.
She is the latest in a slew of trans politicians, religious figures, and celebrities to make headlines in the country.
Trans people remain marginalized in India and their rights are not protected. But, it seems, trans visibility at least is on the rise.
The women and child welfare department employed trans woman Parichay Gowda last week.
‘I am very excited to work here. I will give it my best as it is a big opportunity for me’ she told News18.
Gowda previously worked for an NGO working with sexual minorities.
Head of the department, Dr Jaimala, said: ‘It is our responsibility to give a dignified life to transgenders who face several problems and are often overlooked in our society’.
‘All inclusive society is my goal’ she wrote on Twitter.
Parichaya our new team member at Vidhan Soudha pic.twitter.com/e6nzfIanWg
— DrJaimala (@Dr_Jayamala) March 2, 2019
Trans rights in India
India’s Supreme Court in 2014 recognized trans identities as a third gender.
But, the community remains marginalized. Families and employers shun trans individuals.
What’s more, activists have slammed a trans rights bill currently in the Upper House of Parliament. They say it further infringes rights rather than protects them.
But, the last few months have seen high visibility for trans individuals.
Last month, India’s first Miss Trans Queen joined one of the country’s largest political parties.
Earlier this year, the same party appointed its first transgender office-bearer.
Trans gurus also made history earlier this year by leading a religious procession.
Violence continues, however. One trans politician running for office in Hyderabad went missing during her election campaign.
Last month, a man decapitated a trans priestess in her temple.