We as a society do not know and neither are we eager to learn the nuances of sex, gender, or the experiences of those at the margins of these categories. The alarming thing is that this apathy is reflected in the language which our legislature speaks. Our state has, quite unsurprisingly, deemed it fit to not listen to the voices of the major stakeholders while introducing the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.
It is, in fact, a misnomer: the trans act is not in the best interest of trans people; it is against them. This is the most shameful irony of our times–the people most affected by a law are the last ones to be consulted before making major decisions on the rules to govern their bodies.
Our legislative and judiciary abound in biopolitics. The state implicitly recognises that the best way to be in control of a large population is to have power over their bodies. This is why custodial rape is so frequent in India. The state has codified and non-codified ways of asserting control over bodies of its citizens, especially those from historically oppressed groups. The trans act is a codified attempt–one to be enshrined in our rulebooks, to inflict the contempt of our ‘civil society’ on trans persons.