Rohita / India
“I have supported three of my younger siblings so that they could be educated. I have a masters degree myself. For several years, I worked in my home town of Kumbakonam. Though most people could identify my trans identity, I tried to hide it and fit in like everyone around me. But things got complicated when my family decided that it was time for me to marry. I couldn’t ruin another woman’s life so I told them that I couldn’t marry and left for Chennai.
I’ve now been in Chennai for twelve years, as an openly trans person. I spent the first few years within the guru-chela system that took care of me. After a while, I underwent my sex reassignment surgery. Unfortunately, there were some complications and I had to undergo surgery again. Once all this was over, I had been out of the job market for a while and had even forgotten the skills I used to have. Some companies insisted that my duties would only be behind the scenes. Even though they offered a higher pay, I did not want to work somewhere where I wouldn’t be fully respected. I chose to work as a data entry specialist at RmKV. Here, people don’t even notice that there are trans people working in the office. I am seen as I want to be seen; as a respected lady in a respected job.
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. I choose to work at RmKV because they respect my choices. Many people told me not to undergo the surgery but I did, because I believed it was a step towards the life I had been dreaming of. I did it for myself.”