Friday, April 24, 2009

One million of them, not knowing how to vote

An overlooked issue in the Indian elections: how and where do the country's transgendered folk vote? In India they are also called eunuchs, and range from cross-dressers to those who have gender-reassignment surgery, and also hijras.

Some of them are pushing for a third designation, which is interesting. I wrote a big feature before leaving Canada on the transgendered rights issue; interviewed dozens of people about their quest for acceptance and protection in provincial and federal human rights codes. Gender politics, an issue the world over.

Anyway, for anyone who doesn't really "believe" in transgendered people and there are many, a million is a pretty hard number to argue with.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure a million is a lot.. until you realise that there are a billion people in india. then suddenly 'a million' is put n perspective and doesnt seem like a lot, does it?

Ann Marie McQueen said...

Hey thanks for setting me straight. Until your comment I thought India was sparsely populated. How embarrassing.

I guess a million people IS nothing after all.

Graeme Baker said...

Huh? What's the overlooked issue? They vote in booths like the rest of them.

Ann Marie McQueen said...

That they don't know whether to say they are men or women, which I gather is a pretty big deal when you've had the excrutiating experience of growing up wanting to be a boy when you are a girl, or vice versa, and finally find the courage to express yourself that way.

Graeme Baker said...

But what's that got to do with the Indian election?

Ann Marie McQueen said...

...they don't know how to list themselves on the ballot when they are voting IN THE INDIAN ELECTION.

JP said...

Now I'm confused.
In addition to their vote, You're saying that they are being asked to list their sex on the ballot?

Ann Marie McQueen said...

From what I can remember, yes, that was the issue. I can't find the original story now...

Graeme Baker said...

They should have opted for Jedi.