Sumiran Kabir Sharma“I believe we play different characters every day and our life is like a film. And I have played characters when I have worked for corporate houses and an IT-BPO and dressed up in the most heterosexual clothes ever. You have to live it to realize that you do not want any part of it. Otherwise, you will never value your present self. Now I wear a saree or a backless top and take the metro and I am very cool with it. It has taken me years to identify these layers and accept my true self. In the end, it’s about fighting for your identity and what you believe in. When I did my first nude shoot, my dad blocked me on social media because he did not understand it. Usually people say that I do it to get attention; they say that for people who are different but it’s not at all about that. Sometimes I wear a burqa or a hijab and step out and it’s like a whole new world for me. Usually people watch me when I walk down the street but when I am in a burqa, no one looks at me but I am looking at everyone. The way people look at you changes.”

Sumiran Kabir Sharma/


“You have to live it to realize that you do not want any part of it.”

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KIRAN, 28

“As a child, I never felt comfortable wearing boy clothes for school. Honestly, I would have rather been naked than wear men’s clothes. My feminine mannerisms caught the attention of my entire school because of which I got bullied repeatedly. I’d find obscene drawings on my desk or get pieces of paper thrown at me with filthy things written on them. Once I was cornered in the bathroom by a bunch of boys who asked me to strip naked for them. Initially when I started getting attracted to men, I couldn’t understand it and I had noone to talk to about it. I did not know anything about sexuality. It wasn’t easy at home either. My father was always critical of me and constantly compared me to my brothers. I felt like a misfit at my school and in my family. I chose to stay isolated. I failed my 12th board exams. It became unbearable for me to continue living at home. I left my family and started looking for jobs so that I could live independently. I worked for a brief time at a hotel, from where I got fired because the director was of the opinion that my behavior and ‘sexuality’ was making the other staff uncomfortable. At this point in my life, I knew that I wanted to be a woman and I felt trapped in a man’s body. Around the same time, I fell in love with an Army man, who bought me a flight ticket to Delhi. I simply followed him with the hope that maybe things would be different with him. But my boyfriend abandoned me and left me to pay the house rent on my own. I was offered to work as a sex worker or ask for money at traffic signals but I refused. When I went for job interviews, people would ask for my ID, notice the gender and stare at me. No one wanted me as a tenant because they perceived me as a bad influence, a threat to family and children. Some of my friends spoke about NGOs that supported transgender people. That’s how I came across Naz Foundation. Initially, I just went to Naz for support group meetings or to read at their library.

Kiran/


“As a child, I never felt comfortable wearing boy clothes for school. Honestly, I would have rather been naked than wear men’s clothes.”

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Harmione2

Harmione/


“I am just not ready to have that conversation with them yet because it will disrupt our lives, and honestly, I don’t think I ever will be.”

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Nikhil

Nikhil/


“I ALWAYS ENVIED PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN THOSE PARTS OF THE WORLD WHERE BEING THEMSELVES WAS COMPLETELY NORMAL, UNTIL I LEFT MY OWN LAND IN SEARCH OF ACCEPTANCE.”

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Rohita

Rohita/


“Our lives are our own to live. The contentment we get from living life the way we want to is more important than how others view our way of living.”

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Ravi

Ravi/


“To all my trans brothers, I would only urge you to be your true self and never give up on the hope of living your life to the fullest. You don’t need anyone else’s validation.”

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Ajitha

Ajitha/


“Trans youth must believe that they have a better future — and that we will continue to strive for a fairer, more just society for the future generations.”

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Bharaa

Bharaa/


“Reach out, trust your talent, be open to learning, show your confidence – and you too will find places where you truly belong. Remember, talent has no gender!”

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Rathi

Rathi/


“I await the day when all people in our society see us as equals.”

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Rashika

Rashika/


“Life is different when you are free to live your truth. For the first time in a long time, I am secure, self confident and hopeful for my future.”

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Ashutosh

Ashutosh s. Shankar/


“I was proudly out to my friends and endorsed LGBTQ+ rights outside the four walls of my home. However, inside those four walls, I was completely the opposite. I would never talk about sexuality, about me or my identity. I was still in the closet for my father and mother.”

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Pradeep Gade/


“they asked me questions and tried to force their ideas upon me many times and I bet they would never like to be treated that way.”

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Anonymous/


“I don’t want to tell them because if i want them to accept me like i am, i should also accept them for who they are (people who can never understand).”

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Ankit/


“As long as I remember,i was 5 years old when i was bullied for the first time. Hindi derogatory words like Hijra,Chakka etc. Were thrown to me and these WORDs really had an IMPact on my childhood.”

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Dr Anindya/


“I told him [my professor] that Section 377 [India’s anti-LGBT law] is unconstituional in today’s world. He was so disgusted that he made me fail for which I had to appear on that exam later. I didn’t ask for any probe, but I realised that the problem lies somewhere else. I contacted the president of World Psychiatric Association and told him the situation.”

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Pulkit/


“I have always been brazen online, sharing photos I take of Indian male sexuality across social media. But I never took the hate that came with it seriously till this one time I was physically assaulted by two men outside a very crowded subway and a mob gathered to watch while they threw homophobic slurs at me.”

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Sandipta/


“in my school days when i wished to perform as a female dancer in annual programme they laughed at me and informed my family. my parents beat me.”

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Sagar/


“Living in India, where same sex marriage is considered to be filthy I had a really tough time growing up. Confused as I was, I dint know with whom to share this fact of mine. I was scared, but even though I was closeted people had to find out who truly I was.”

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Samarpan Maiti/


“I come from a rural economically marginalized background which itself gave me a set of struggles to fight since childhood. Since my adolescent days I was trying to understand myself and was a confused soul.”

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Hunsij

Hunsij/


“My greatest desire is to move to some place where my sexuality is legal and accepted, a place where I can just call him my boyfriend or husband, not my partner, a place where they would not stare if we hold hands in the street, a place where everything would be just fine.”

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R/


“Just want someone to come and take me out of this situation someday. I dont need all the luxury or money or the job that I have, I need love and freedom to be myself and want to surround myself with happy people.”

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Shivam/


“I’m gay and proud of it. There’s nothing that I would change about myself. But my country and my parents would never agree to that. Where homosexuality is a crime. In India and on the other hand if do tell my parents about me, especially my dad, he’ll kill me. No doubts.”

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Saaree/


“I BORN UNLUCKY….. I had good childhood until I was sexual assaulted by my uncle in the age where I don’t even no the meaning gay barbie girlie it was my pet name nobody’s thought why I am like this, whether its my mistake or gods.”

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