I first ‘appeared’ as Malika on the world wide web back in 1998 and I soon discovered that were a lot of transgender Indians lurking around on the net. These TGIs (TransGendered Indians) were educated, from a middle or upper middle class urban background, English speaking or at least reading and writing basic English, they had to be, because they were Internet-wise. Most of them had either the desire to dress up in clothes of the opposite sex or had at least worn some garment at sometime or the other. Some dressed in the mother’s sarees when she was away, others sneaked in a bra or panty and wore it under their clothes in the night. A lot of them lied and told fabulous stories of their cross-dressing experiences. They showed me photos of them, cut out faces stuck on pictures of real women. A lot of them were married or had girlfriends and had children. Some were curious, others were confused and some even scared. Some wanted to find a cure to this ‘horrible’ desire that one had.
Here we in india were in Tabooland. None of them could talk about this to anybody around them. They would be banished from family and social life, forced to join the Hijras and ike out a living begging on the streets. So the internet had become the freedom space, it offered a vast library of information. The USian and Western European transgender person had come out in the open or at least on the internet. There were thousands of sites offering information on this state of being. Some gave half baked information, others referred to ideas that had been thought up by old Foggies with beards called psychiatrists (they who had even preached that these ‘sexual deviations and aberrations’ could be cured through treatment like electric shocks, I had been offered this treatment long ago) T-girls offered their “piccies”, dressed up in various feminine costumes to delight and excite the voyeuristic and frustrated TGI. Some gave information that we so wanted to understand our state.
Thus more and more TGI appeared on the internet in chat sites and discussion groups. Indian transgender/cross-dressing sites came up everyday promising to be ‘the’ way to nirvana for the TGI. Some of these stayed on and others disappeared, often I think due to lack of material to put up there on their sites. The photo situation has considerably improved with a lot of TGI now flaunting beautiful pics of them, dressed in beautiful sarees and make-up. There are secret groups and Yahoo 360° with gorgeous TGI.
But ladies, Photos were not enough. I think we are all looking for information or discussion or news about us.
We cannot just make this state of being into a self eluding voyeuristic escape. I am tired of TGI asking for my pics and wanting to show me theirs. I don’t want to see your hundred pics in sarees, I want to talk to you.
Just tell me who you are? Why are you and me like this? How is this affecting your lives? What can we do to make our lives better?
This is what I want to hear from you! This is what Internet is for. It is so that we can express ourselves in total freedom and anonymity.