“Sometimes, when God makes people, he puts a woman’s soul into a man’s body. It only makes them special. We must respect what they want. That is what matters most.” Reena is overjoyed to hear her 10-year-old daughter explain the importance of respecting transgenders to her friends.
The first Transwoman who represented India Internationally
“The contest would not only provide them with an opportunity to showcase their skills, but also boost their self esteem and confidence (which have been trampled upon for ages), and give them the strength to fight their way out of the undignified professions they are usually forced into,” says Reena the founder of Suhani Dreamcatchers.
“Bringing a change is never easy. I’ve heard rumours about myself belonging to the Transgender community because I’m trying to help them. My family has also been ridiculed for working closely with the community. There have been challenges being accepted by the community, being an outsider to it. It breaks me almost everyday. But you know what keeps me going? My beautiful, strong transwomen whose lives have been touched by my work. They call me 'Maa' and believe that I’m the one who gave them a new life. That feeling overpowers everything else.”
What Reena is fundraising for
“Vipin used to work in a beauty parlour I frequented. I have closely seen her journey to becoming the beloved ‘Vippi mausi’. The struggles were heart-breaking, but her fight was inspiring! A visit to Hijra Habba organized by HIV AIDS Alliance, and the story of Bishesh changed my life forever. Something was going wrong somewhere. The provisions made by our laws do not demand this poor a treatment towards people of the third gender! It dawned on me then that the problem only lay in our own perception, our opinion about anything that does not fit into the ‘norm’. It was after this that I made a promise to make a difference to their lives.”
Why she needs your help:
“These are women who are strong. They have made it this far. They fought bullying, abuse and sometimes even the pressure to end their own lives. The main problem is people not wanting to associate themselves with them , for the sake of their own reputation.”