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A trans-man (right) with a friend at 5th Bangalore Queer Film Festival| Nagesh Polali/Express
Transgender-men yet to break free

in INDIA, 18/03/2013

Trans-men are reticent, a hardly visible group among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Most people do not really know who they are. On the sidelines of the 5th Bangalore Queer Film Festival, this often misunderstood group of people shared details of their struggle to live as they are. Bangalore has close to hundred trans-men, they still live in the closet.

“The term ‘transgender’ in common parlance is used by most only to refer to trans-women (men to women). There is hardly any public understanding or any knowledge about who these trans-men are” said Gee Ameena Suleiman, a film-maker and a researcher whose docu-fiction Kalvattukal, protraying their lives, was screened  in the fest last year.

Gee also said, “As trans-men, apart from our personal battles in the society, we face a double oppression - firstly being born as a women to find our economic and social independence in the society shaped by patriarchy and secondly as trans-men.”

Unlike the trans-women, most of the trans-men, with very few exceptions, are still not ready to disclose their real identities to the world.

Most of them leave their native places to find their lives in cosmopolitan cities to escape from the public scrutiny or gender policing so they can continue to live their lives as they are.

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