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“She thought I was asking for Sex”: Eunuch Discrimination in India Exposed!


“She thought I was asking for Sex”: Eunuch Discrimination in India Exposed!

Last year, I found myself on a train journey from Pune to Mumbai. Little did I know that this seemingly ordinary commute would turn into a heart-wrenching incident that brought tears to my eyes.

The train compartment was bustling with passengers, with only a few seats available. Standing near the door, I observed the diverse mix of individuals occupying the space. Suddenly, a Eunuch (referred to as H) entered the compartment at the Lonavla junction, and a wave of annoyance swept through the passengers. Unfortunately, being a Eunuch in India carried a stigma, and people assumed H would ask for money.

To my surprise, H did nothing of the sort. Instead, H found a seat and settled down quietly. However, the peace was short-lived as a fellow passenger arrogantly demanded that H vacate the seat. This unexpected act of prejudice was disheartening to witness.

Without uttering a word, H stood up and moved to the seat next to the door where I was standing. However, the discrimination continued as the lady sitting adjacent to me instructed H to go and sit near the toilet, deeming the seat unsuitable for "people like you." I anticipated H would respond or defend herself, but she remained silent and came to stand beside me at the door.

This situation left me in utter shock and filled me with profound sadness for H, who had endured such mistreatment. Hoping to offer some solace, I smiled at her, but she did not respond. In an attempt to bridge the gap, I offered H some chips that I had been eating, but once again, there was no reply. Feeling a mix of emotions, I turned my attention to the scenery outside, seeking solace in the gentle breeze against my face.

After a few minutes, I gathered the courage to initiate a conversation with H, asking about the upcoming station and other random topics. To my relief, H responded, and I felt a glimmer of hope that our interaction could provide a momentary connection amidst the hostility. We conversed for a mere five minutes until the train came to a halt at Khandala.

Unexpectedly, H reached out and grasped my hand, saying, "Look, I will not have sex with you or provide any pleasure. I have to go. You are a nice guy." Shocked and bewildered, I couldn't comprehend why such a thought had crossed her mind.

H proceeded to explain, "No one wants to talk to us. When someone even smiles at us, it means they expect something in return, even if it's just a hand job. I spoke with you for five minutes, so you must be expecting something from me."

Speechless and overcome with emotion, tears welled up in my eyes. I had no idea that individuals like H were subjected to such dehumanizing expectations, where even a brief conversation was misconstrued as a transaction for their bodies.

Without further explanation, H disembarked from the train, leaving behind a sea of unanswered questions in my mind. The remainder of the journey was marked by silent tears, as the weight of this poignant encounter lingered within me.


Editor's Note:

The incident described above sheds light on the discrimination faced by Eunuchs in India. It highlights the stigma and prejudice that individuals from this community often encounter in public spaces. Eunuchs, also known as Hijras, are a marginalized group facing social exclusion and limited opportunities for education, employment, and acceptance within society.

It is essential to acknowledge that the portrayal of this incident reflects a specific experience and may not be representative of the entire Eunuch community's experiences. Discrimination against Eunuchs is a complex issue influenced by cultural, societal, and historical factors.

Open conversations and increased awareness regarding the rights and dignity of Eunuchs are crucial in challenging these prejudices. Promoting inclusivity, empathy, and understanding can contribute to creating a more accepting and equitable society for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or expression.


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