Transgenders face housing and job discrimination in Chennai, India

While some transgenders have managed to make it against all odds, most continue to face discrimination and stigma when it comes to getting jobs or houses for rent. “Livelihood opportunities for transgenders needs a serious debate,” says Magdelene Jeyaratham, Director, Centre of Counselling.

Citing the recent example of the Karnataka High Court appointing a transgender as a Class IV employee, the transgender community in Tamil Nadu feels that the state government needs to move away from the welfare approach towards economic empowerment by providing livelihood opportunities .

Magdelene said, “ There are hardly any private companies that come forward to employ qualified transgenders. Even when they do they cannot ensure a conducive atmosphere in the work place for these people. There is a need for well thought out HR polices and practices in place. And they need to do a lot of sensitisation.”

Shankari, an activist with Sangama, said, “The government should consider providing reservation for the TGs in Class III and Class IV jobs. Though we welcome the pension of `1000 which the government plans to give destitute transgenders, it is high time the government considered giving us jobs.”

Sunil Menon, LGBT activist said, “Without giving them opportunities, society continues to condemn them for going into prostitution and begging. Give them a chance before blaming them for trying to survive.”

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