Despite 377 Verdict, It’s Not All Rainbows for Trans People Yet


Despite 377 Verdict, It’s Not All Rainbows for Trans People Yet

Illustration: Akshita Monga


arshini Mekala wanted to be a lawyer when she was growing up, but like so many people who come to Mumbai, today she has dreams of being an actor. She’s not a star kid, and doesn’t have an industry godfather, but winning a beauty pageant could provide the right platform to break into showbiz. A lucky break could be right around the corner, as she’s in the finals of an all-India pageant, the winner of which will get to represent the country at an international event in Thailand. Harshini is in the running to become Miss TransQueen India 2018, a title she’s hoping to bag despite modestly referring to herself as “medium-beautiful” during our conversation.

Winning the pageant would be sweet – even sweeter was the feeling Harshini had yesterday when the Supreme Court finally struck down Section 377, ending decades of legal discrimination and harassment of the LGBTQ community. Speaking to me over the phone, Harshini told me how the ruling fills her with hope for society becoming more welcoming toward transgender individuals, now that India’s foremost judicial body has issued such an unequivocal – and poetic – statement of acceptance.