What we choose to do with our body, and how we choose to live is essentially a personal choice. When a pretty girl uses make-up, she's not frowned upon, nor is a little boy wearing baggy jeans. Then what's the issue with the girl wearing baggy jeans or the boy wanting to look pretty in make-up? Why does society label them as 'queer'? Isn't it all about being happy?
16-year-old Krishna Singh felt trapped in a man's body. While most of us would stay quiet of fear of being shamed, the Vasant Valley student from New Delhi hung up his boys uniform for good.
In a conversation with TOI , the brave heart talks about her transition from a man to a woman.
Not feeling quite right in her skin, Krishna switched to the gender neutral physical training uniform and started her hormone replacement therapy. Now, Krishna goes by the name of Naina Singh and wears a salwaar kameez to school. She plans to go through with her sex-change operation post her Class 12 exams.
Unlike others who face family opposition for being queer, Naina's mother was her biggest support. While most parents spend years in denial, Mishi (Naina's mother) took Krishna to counsellors when she was all of 14.
"I thought he was gay, but my worst nightmare was he'd be a girl. I didn't want him to suffer. I'd show him remote-control cars in toy shops but he'd want stuffed toys. He kept asking for wigs, even made ones with ribbons," Mishi told TOI.
Krishna first opened up to Mishi for the first time at 12. He said, "I think I'm openly confused about being gay." By August 20, 2013, he came out "to the whole universe" answering an anonymous question on social media.
Mishi was quoted as saying, "At first, I thought transgenderism was cross-dressing." But in September 2014, the counsellors called Mishi and Naina's elder sister to inform them that "without any doubt, Krishna is a woman." Thereafter, Mishi told Naina she's going to get her started on HRT and laser-hair removal.
Naina has been comparatively lucky. The school allows her to grow her hair and use the nurse's loo. She also wears a salwaar kameez as her uniform. Mishi says Naina is lucky to have good friends in school. " They are her angels. This generation is different," Mishi tells TOI.
But the journey hasn't been easy. People stare. Naina's painted nails shocked a construction worker and she was once "thrown out" of a salon by a beautician who, she says, "ran away screaming." But this change did not come as a shock to Naina's friends or family. Once the 'secret's' out, you have moved forward.
But Naina's outlook is more positive. "Why bother with things you can't change? There are bigger problems, like poverty," the 16-year-old said. And it is so true. The most important thing is that she had the courage to come out and be herself!