The pink boys – the forgotten gender
Virk & Cheema writes for DOT
The French film director Alain Berliner in his film Ma Vie in Rose (My Life in Pink) narrates an emotional journey of a transgender child- Ludovic: a female brain in a male body. The climax of the movie comes when this child has a crush on the son of his father’s boss and for which father is fired from his job. The incident change his life and he goes through all kinds of rejection from his parents, siblings, peer groups etc. In a desperate attempt to break away from his miseries, Ludovic tries to end his life, at which point, his family concludes, ‘Do whatever feels best. Whatever happens you’l always be My Child.’ Gender is a socially constructed phenomenon. Biologically, one is born as male or female; however, some people are also born intersex which means born with the anatomy that does not fit the typical male female body types. This intersex anatomy is generally termed as The Third Gender. Transgender or internationally known as gender variant people, are frequently confused with homosexuals (Gays & Lesbians). In their article in Journal on Child Welfare, Gerald P. Mallon and Teresa DeCrescenzo state that transgender children must not be mislabelled as homosexuals. Both the set of humans are different, they need separate treatment, identity, and protection. Transgender is a genital deformity which becomes a psychological problem because of non-acceptance of their gender by the society. So when they come within the definition of the third gender the problems begin in their lives. Various studies have shown that they are brutally rejected socially which affects them not only economically, or politically but also psychologically. D. Scholinski in her academic work, ‘The Last Time I Wore a Dress’ narrates a school incident of a boy in the body of girl. She illustrates “pinning me to the ground, the girls at school forced red lipstick onto my mouth…the social worker with the pointy high heels said I was wrecking the family and that if I kept things up the way, they were going to lose my sister too. I know I was bad, I wasn’t crazy though.’ She terms this forced change of attitude towards ones gender as ‘The Etiquette Corrective’. Such response from society results in hollowness in the lives of the transgender which results in higher rates of substance 1 2nd December 2018 abuse, depression, suicide attempts, increase of criminal instincts in them, eating disorders and anxiety. The need of the time is to yearn for a society which accepts every type of gender. The movement of gender equality has ignored this section of the society, a part which is left behind, ignored and socially boycotted. It’s the time to knock the doors of their homes, hold their hands and take them to the mainstream. However, its not that easy. Not all are blessed like Ludovic, the real life is always different and difficult from the reel life. There are not always happy endings in reality. But the question stands: ‘Is born with genital deformity, their faulty?,Do we ‘The Typical Genders’ needs to introspect?
The writers are Associate Professors in Law at Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana, India.