‘’We must be given right to adopt children. I am 40 years and from here on I have only 20 years left to enjoy motherhood. Even after three years of my Gender Affirmative (GA) surgery, I am still facing discrimination. People still look at me as if I am a different creature among them,” said Dr Sameera Jahagirdar, who underwent Sex Reassignment Surgery in 2016.
Dr Sameera is currently working as Assistant Professor Critical Care Medicine at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry. Talking to Chandigarh Newslines on the sidelines of a two-day national symposium on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Health that began here Saturday at PGIMER, Dr Sameera said that lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgenders still had not been given the rights which they deserve.
She said ‘’I have no right to adopt a child neither have I legal marriage right nor family rights.”
Narrating her story, she said “It took me years to realize who I am and I regret that. I should have disclosed it earlier. At the age of 28, I opened up my identity. My mother did not understand what I was saying. I think she was unwilling to understand it. My father got depressed after hearing that I was transgender. As the family pressure was mounting, I decided to move from Pune which is my birth place. It happened in 2003 as I went for my post graduation from Pune to Pondicherry, as I had realized that I need to earn money and be independent. My mom and dad used to visit me every third or fourth month. There I grew as an Anaesthetist. During my studies, I kept my identity hidden as I was completely focusing on my studies.”
“Till 28 years I lived as Sameer. After that I became Sameera. I regret that I took a long time to know myself,” said Dr Sameera.
“Most people believe that being transgender, bi-sexual, lesbian or gay is a disease or they think it is a mental disorder. They do not consider it as a natural thing because they are told so. Even today we have a medical literature having wrong information. Being in medical profession, I have come across so much misleading information which is hard to digest,” She added.
Talking about her childhood days, she said ‘’In the early days of schooling, I had to make my self cross-dressed.”
Narrating her struggle, she said ,’’There is always a pressure of society as well as family. Family says you are a boy, so you have to wear trouser and thus my childhood got lost. I had to look like a boy, as per society and parents wishes. But still I was very feminine. Secretly I used to dress like women.”
About family, she said ‘’My parents worked as teachers. Now they are retired. My sister was aware of all these things. She was my best friend during the toughest phase of my life.”
“Now I can conquer the world. Now I have that confidence. I have written a lot about the outdated and false medical literature and evidence of that will soon come out. I have reviewed all text book from 1st year to last year of MBBS, where ever anything wrong is written. In some instances LGBT is being criminalized in text books,” she said.