Trans health official says India more progressive than the US

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Amruta Alpesh Soni says her experiences of trying to get a US visa has shown her how progressive India is.

The trans health official from India had her visa put on hold due to the sex listed on her passport. She recently received a new passport with her sex listed as “T”, under Indian laws that recognise transgender people as a third sex.

India gave transgender people, some who are known as hijras, the right to declare themselves a third gender at the end of April this year.

She has recently been granted a US visa before she flies out to a conference on trans health in Philadelphia.

She is due to speak on the issues faced by HIV+ trans Indians. She is HIV+ herself.

Ms Soni told IANS: “We think America is more progressive than India on many counts. Now, I have realised that they are far behind us when it comes to transgenders.

“There is a huge gap between the transgender community and society. The stigma will continue unless mindsets change.

Raigarh, in Soni’s home state of Chhattisgarh, elected India’s first trans mayor in January.


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