News Karnataka
Wednesday, October 05 2022

Young Minds at KJC envision India as a Trans friendly Nation

Photo Credit : By Author

Bengaluru: “Who am I, I’m a Trans woman but more than that I identified myself as a human being. I am a proud woman.”, said Sana Suman in the panel discussion organized by the Department of Media Studies (PG), Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru on “ Envisioning India as a Trans-friendly Nation”. The event was organized as a part of a campaign organized by the students of the department which took place at the college auditorium at 4.00 PM, on Friday, May 13.

The session began with an invocation song, followed by a welcome speech delivered by one of the student coordinators. Alex Mathew, popularly known as Maya the drag queen, Sana Suman – transgender activist who fights for gender identity and founding member of Swatantra Organization, Karnataka. She is also the first member of the transgender community to obtain higher education in India and the first trans journalist from Karnataka.  Dr Sruthi Sivaraman, Psychologist and faculty of Kristu Jayanti college were the panellists for the discussion, which was moderated by  Rasika Godbole, student of the Psychology Department of Kristu Jayanti College.

During the discussion, Sana Suman talked about how she voiced herself for the voiceless in her community by petitioning for IPC section 377, which talks about the acceptance of the third gender. She also pointed out that social media often characterise the transgender community with a humorous tone, trivialising their struggles, and reinforcing common misunderstandings and negative stereotypes of what it means to be transgender. Alex Mathew, also the alumnus of the college talked about the importance of sex education among children and elders which can give an insight into the different identities and sexualities. Being a journalist herself, Sana discussed how media plays a significant role in shaping society’s perspective and how it influenced her own family to accept her.

Dr Sruthi Sivaraman discussed the various mental and emotional conditions that a Trans person is subjected to go through and highlighted that according to the 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by The Trevor Project nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth attempted suicide in the past year. Dr Shruthi went on to add that, LGBTQ youth who felt high social support from their family reported attempting suicide at less than half the rate of those who felt low or moderate social support.

“The best part of today’s session was the part where we were given an opportunity to interact with the panellists. It was so fruitful that it cleared several of the unanswered questions in the minds of many,” commented Sreelakshmi of IInd MA English Literature.

The panel discussion attended by over 250 students was coordinated by Gayathri R, Swetha Prasad and Lakshmi Muralidharan from the Department of Media Studies along with their faculties – Dr Juby Thomas, Neerej Dev, Vipula PC, Keerthana Thankachan. The event also saw the presence of Dr Molly Joy, Head, Department of Psychology at Kristu Jayanti College and Susan Sanny from the Department of English, Kristu Jayanti College.

The session concluded with teachers and students handing over saplings as a token of love to the guests, followed by a vote of thanks. The programme was indeed successful in its attempt to inculcate a sense of inclusivity in the minds of students.

Report by: Shweta K. Prasad

Read more

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