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Transgender insulted at a beauty parlour in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: A BBM graduate and an employee of a city-based tourism company had lived a dignified life, till Wednesday, when she was allegedly humiliated and verbally abused by a city-based salon employee.  Her only fault- she is a transgender.

Despite the Supreme Court order to make provisions and provide equal status to transgenders, discrimination at public places seems to continue. In this particular incident, Sana Shri, visited a parlour at Dasarahalli, a month ago and availed of services like threading, manicure and pedicure. Unable to identify her as a transgender, the employees were very friendly with her.

Since she was happy with their services, she decided to take two of her friends with her a few days later, to the same parlour.  On that day, the beautician did not provide any services to her or her friends, so they went away. Assuming that the employee did not provide any service to her as she brought her friends along, she went alone on Wednesday. She narrates, “I was asked to wait for 10 minutes. Afterwards, the same beautician came to me and inquired if I was a transgender. She said that transgenders were not provided any service.

I was shocked and asked her why they did not allow any people belonging to the transgender community. They said, ‘You are a man, and should go to a gents’ salon and not come here to a beauty parlour!’” An angry and disturbed Sana questioned, “Who is she to tell me where I am to go, when the Supreme Court of India has guaranteed transgenders equal rights? I am a woman and it’s my choice.”

The entire episode had a long lasting impact on Sana. She said, “I was shocked, hurt and depressed. While I spoke politely to them, four employees surrounded me from all sides, and it looked as if they were about to attack me! They also abused me and used filthy language.” For many, this is routine discrimination. But for people like Sana, who has lived a life of repute with her parents, this behavior has come as a shock.  

Now Sana wants to take action. She says, “I do not want to keep mum. I am looking at options available to me.” The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, member C H Hunagund, said, “Any gender discrimination amounts to violation of fundamental rights but it is difficult to point out the appropriate penal provisions for that.  She can file a private complaint of defamation against them.”

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