‘Transgenders should obey dress code or get lost’: village

CHENNAI: Fisherfolk in a tsunami re-settlement village have made issue with a group of transgender residents, and it’s a tense situation. They ruckus has been thrown up by the clothes transgenders wear, it appears.

Reports say that several transgenders have been hiding in a house at HLL Nagar tsunami settlement in Thiruvottiyur for more than a day fearing for their lives. In three months, the 40 transgenders in the settlement will have nowhere to go. They say they have been threatened with eviction from  the where they had been living as tenants for six years, following a spat with the fisherfolk over their attire. They now want the government to allot them houses elsewhere.

The fisherfolk  say they only wanted one particular transgender to leave because of her ‘offending sense of dress’  and deny they were against the entire group. The tsunami settlement has more than 950 fishermen families.

Sherin Bosko, medical sociologist and co-founder of Nakshatra, an NGO, said the problem began a few days ago when some fishermen objected to the dress of one of the transgenders. The issue has since escalated with the fisherfolk alleging that the transgenders were using the tenements for sex work.

On Thursday, several fishermen held talks with the transgenders in the presence of police. “We gave an undertaking that the transgender concerned will vacate in three months. But they want all of us to vacate and even threatened us. Where will we go?” said Dhanam, who runs NGO Snegidhi.

Since Thursday night, many transgenders have been staying together in a house.

The transgenders say they had been trying for long to find alternate housing in nearby Ernavoor. “The slum clearance board officials even told us they would allot houses for us in Semmenchery. But it has been two years and we have heard nothing. The government was supposed to allot houses for us but not a single transgender in the city has got it so far,” said Dhanam. “We had been living in Thiruvottiyur even before the tsunami houses were constructed and we won’t get houses on rent anywhere else. We would rather go to faraway Semmenchery than face these baseless allegations,” added her colleague Rupakala.

Devi, who heads the women’s group in the settlement, said they didn’t have a problem with the transgenders as long as they were appropriately dressed. “People have started calling this a ‘transgender settlement’. Outsiders are not willing to get married to our boys or girls here because of these transgenders. We actually have problems only with one of them. We want that person to vacate,” she said.

Krishnan, head of the settlement, when approached by a local media person, refused to comment.

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Posted by on April 4, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,RAINBOW. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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