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India Declares Transgender As Third Gender

They will no longer have to categorise themselves as ‘male’ or ‘female’ in official documents

By Nalisa Alia Amin | Published: 17 Apr 2014

Just when we thought that this day wouldn’t come, it finally did and it’s groundbreaking. BBC News India has reported that India’s Supreme Court has filed a ruling which allows transgender people to identify themselves as third gender. The historic moment was celebrated with transgender people dancing in the streets celebrating their acceptance by the law.

India has one of the highest populations of transgender people in the world. It’s difficult for them to get a job and an education, let alone health care as hospitals refuse to treat people who are unable to classify their gender. As a last resort, many transgender people turn to prostitution or become beggars to survive.

Due to the struggle, the court also ruled that the government must provide transgender people with equal access to education, healthcare, welfare programs. The government has to set up a public awareness campaign to tackle the hatred transgender people have to face on a daily basis. 

"The spirit of the Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender," said Justice KS Radhakrishnan, who headed the two-judge Supreme Court bench.


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