For a child, growing up in this day and age is stressful and traumatic already. But for someone special? Someone who is bisexual or non-binary or transgender? Well, for them, the journey is much much tougher than we can ever fathom. Although we assume ourselves to be civilized, cultured, and sophisticated, we fail blatantly daily to accommodate these children into our mainstream societies as if they are a pestilence or a curse. We may be unaware of this fact but our sheer ignorance and an overall lack of compassion and acceptance for who they are just contributing to making their lives much more agonizing and painful. Fortunately, the world is slowly coming around to realize the pain and suffering that they are put through regularly, and a lot of steps are being progressively made to make them feel at home, and one with the overall world community. Here, we will try to understand the various issues that a special child, let’s say the transgender child, has to tackle while they grow up. So, let’s vow to eliminate our prejudices and false notions and start

The road to enlightenment

As we have already discussed, these children are special, and as a result, we normals have a hard time accepting them into our circles, societies, etc., and thrust them through a lot of mental torment. Hence, the various troubles that they face while growing up are

  • The discrimination- These children who are seemingly different from us and are different from us face a deadly dose of discrimination right from the moment that they are born. The transgender child faces a constant challenge while interacting with peers and superiors. They are frequently left out of group activities and they are often at the end of the pecking order when it comes to grades and other appraisal platforms. This discrimination doesn’t end even once they graduate and continues to haunt them through their workplaces and personal lives as well. Frequently, such a tortuous experience leads them to depression, and frustration, and quite unfortunately sometimes, forces them to finish themselves off as well.
  • The mental agony- Transgender kids have to endure a hellish existence daily. As if the discrimination was not enough, they are frequently bullied, abused, roughed up, and made to feel poorly about themselves. These taunts leave some brutal and indelible marks on their consciousness, and some of these may never heal. No one deserves this. These childhood traumas may develop into something more severe as they grow up and enter adulthood. These memories keep haunting them and steal away their rights to a healthy and happy livelihood. These kids often end up inflicting self-harm and experiencing some truly horrific mental breakdowns and fits.
  • Lack of career opportunities- Transgenders are often marginalized and treated preferentially when it comes to their professional lives as well. A lot of companies would think twice before hiring a transgender or an openly homosexual person. These types of workplace misdemeanours can negatively affect their professional and personal lives. There have been a lot of instances where these people have been forced to lead a life of homelessness and beggary or have been sold off to human trafficking rings just because no one would want them in their organizations.

These were just a few examples of the constant struggles that the transgender child or adult has to face daily. Unfortunately, we cannot use a magic spell to make all their sufferings vanish in an instant, but let us take a look at the steps that we, at a personal level, or as a community can take to end their suffering.

  • Eliminating the human rights gap- One of the first steps that any community can take to alleviate the suffering of these amazing people is by granting them the basic human rights of recognition, safety, and education opportunities, and letting them feel proud of who they actually are. We often witness that these children do not come out with their true identities since they fear the reprimanding and the social isolation that they would have to endure. This personal and social detachment leads to a lack of educational access, and the cycle follows. This needs to be done away with in the first instance if we really wish to make a change.

 

  • Creating an inclusive environment- To help understand this point in the best way possible, we would recommend that you take a look at the Thai social culture. Inclusivity is something that accepts each and every human being for who they are and do not force them to comply with pre-set social norms and guidelines.
  • Giving them the right to choose their gender- In a lot of cases, transgenders are stripped of the basic right of getting to choose their genders and have to live in limbo regarding their identities. It must be a mandate for every society and government to implement legislation that would allow these children to determine what they want to be without being coerced.
  • Creating a safe space- At a domestic level, one of the best ways of making these children actually feel at home is by accepting them for who they truly are and making them feel wanted and loved. A safe space at home would enable these children to express themselves freely and let their imaginations fly. This step can go a long way in making them feel one with society and the world would be better off for it.

Final take:

The transgender child is a special gift of the almighty and deserves all our love and appreciation. We must make it a point to improve their lives in whatever way we can and if we know someone who is transgender, make them feel wanted and loved.

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By Rajat

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