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Trans Indians beg for mercy killings rather than lives of discrimination

Trans Indians beg for mercy killings rather than lives of discrimination

Grace Banu, Angel Glady and Living Smile Vidya.

Three Indian transgender women have begged for mercy killing rather than live lives of discrimination.

Frustrated with the government assistance and job opportunities, Grace Banu, Living Smile Vidya and Angel Glady submitted their petition to Tamil Nadu state on Friday (4 September).

‘If we are considered third rate citizens, if we can’t sustain our livelihood with dignity, then let us die with dignity,’ Vidya wrote on Facebook.

The Supreme Court recognized transgender people as a ‘third sex’ in April 2014, and ordered central and state governments to set quotas for them in education and employment.

But the women said little has changed since the landmark ruling.

‘I tried to get financial assistance from the government to lead my life with dignity,’ Banu, who is studying engineering, told The Hindu newspaper.

‘I do not want to beg or carry on with the other tasks traditionally associated with transwomen in society. I have never thought of doing such work for a living.’

Even highly-educated transgender women are denied jobs because of their gender identity, and many are forced into begging or sex work.

Vidya holds a postgraduate degree from Tanjavur Tamil University but said she did not earn enough to make ends meet.