Open Space

If Gautam Gambhir made you uncomfortable, you are the problem

What Gambhir did was just an attempt to mainstream transgenders and give them due acknowledgment and respect.

Promita Mukherjee

There are plenty of reasons why I like Gautam Gambhir. On the field, he’s aggressive, off it, kinda cute. On Twitter, the perfect desi boy. Now TBH, I haven’t been following cricket like a religion since God (sure you wanna ask who that is?) hung up his boots, but that doesn’t stop me from crushing on Gambhir on social media, does it?

Well, the Delhi boy, whose Twitter bio reads ‘Father. Cricketer. Patriot’, just gave me one more reason to fangirl some more by — hold your hormones– inaugurating the 7th edition of the annual Hijra Habba, an event organised by the HIV/ AIDS Alliance India dressed as a womana couple of days back.

Now if that isn’t all kinds of cool, IDK what is, right? And his tweet: “It’s not about being a man or a woman. It’s about being a HUMAN. With proud transgenders Abhina Aher and Simran Shaikh and their Rakhi love on my hand. I’ve accepted them as they are. Will you? #respecttransgenders” will do more about inclusion of LGBTQ in the society than any court order ever will.

What makes Gambhir’s act all the more important is that in one swift tweet, he made a swag and sincere attempt to take away from the ostracism and stigma that transgenders face. They are not just kept away from regular jobs that at least the LGB part of LGBT can hope to get, but are also victims to all sorts of abuse even at the hand of cops. Just imagine, a sex change operation and becoming India’s first transgender college principal couldn’t spare the gritty Manobi (who was born as Somnath) from Bengal from abuse. What chance do those living in the fringes of the society have, any way?

What Gambhir did was just an attempt to mainstream transgenders and give them due acknowledgment and respect. After all, Supreme Court decriminalising Section 377 won’t mean much till we learn to accept members of the LGBT community as one of our own, would it?

So thank you, Gauti. Cheers to more such sixes.

(The author is a senior journalist)

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