Coping skills and strategies of transgender youth in chennai city, tamil nadu

ntroduction

God has created human beings as equal without any discrimination as to their skill power, will power, grasping power, intellect, etc., but is the human beings who discriminates and misuses the abuse human being and treat them as objects and the fault lies only on the selfish nature of the human beings.

Usually, if they are male, they don’t think about it much. It feels normal. And, for most girls, it feels very natural to be female. But that’s not true for everyone. Transgender people who were born male feel they should be female, and transgender people who were born female feel they should be male. People who are transgender feel like they are living inside a body that’s all wrong for them. They often say they feel “trapped in someone else’s body.” Most people’s gender identity matches their anatomy. But people who are transgender feel different from their physical appearances.

Transgender people are individuals whose gender expression and/or gender identity differs from conventional expectations based on the biological sex they were born into. The word transgender is an umbrella term which is used to describe a wide range of identities and experiences, including: female-to-male and male-to-female sex reassigned persons, but also cross-dressers, drag queens, drag kings, gender queers, and many more.

Most transgender people, especially youth, face great challenges in coming to terms with one’s own gender identity and/or gender expression which are opposite to that of the gender identity and gender role imposed on them on the basis of their biological sex. They face several issues such as: shame, fear, and internalized transphobia; disclosure and coming out; adjusting, adapting, or not adapting to social pressure to conform; fear of relationships or loss of relationships; and self-imposed limitations on expression or aspirations.

Definition

The term ‘transgender’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘trans’ and the English word ‘gender’. Different sorts of individuals come under this category. No particular form of sexual orientation is meant through the term transgender. The way they behave and act differs from the ‘normative’ gender role of men and women. Leading a life as a transgender is far from easy because such people can be neither categorized as male nor female and this deviation is “unacceptable” to society’s vast majority. Trying to take out a dignified living is even worse.

Transgenders in India

Hijras in India have a very rich religious-cultural historical background. In India,they were treated as demi-gods. People believe that hijras have blessing and cursing power and hence give respect to them. People are also hijraphobic because of the belief that they might get cursed if they don’t give money to hijras. In Tamil Nadu hijras are known as Aravani. The meaning of the term “Aravani” means a person who worships Lord Aravan. The story of Lord Aravan is mentioned in the great epic Mahabharatha. There is not much difference between hijra and aravani people. The only visible difference that can be observed is the cultural difference. Hijra

group is a closed community and the main professions are begging, dancing and prostitution. Aravani people are also engaged in similar profession but they lead more individual and independent life.

The other categories that do not identify themselves as hijra or aravani fall under the transgender umbrella. For example: transsexuals, transvestite, drag queen, transgendered people etc. fall under the transgender umbrella.Recently, a private member’s Bill protected and providing rights for transgender was passed by the Raja Sabha on April 2014. The Bill also guarantees reservation in education and job, financial aid and social inclusion this is the first time in 45 years that a private member’s Bill has been passed by the Raja Sabha. The Right Transgender Persons Bill 2014 provides for creation of welfare boards at the Centre and state level for the community. Transgender Rights Courts, two percent reservation in government jobs and prohibits discrimination in employment. It also makes provisions for pensions and unemployment allowances for members of the community.

Transgender in Tamil Nadu

Transgender people are called as Thirunar, Thirunangai for Male to Female Transgender people and Thirunambi for Female to Male Transgender people. The term Aravaani in Tamil was widely popularized before 1990’s which is a substitute term for Hijra in India and visible male to female transgenders i.e. thirunangai are often discriminated against in jobs forcing them to resort to begging and prostitution.

Thirunangai’s (MTF) meet in Koovagam, a village in the Ulundurpet taluk in Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu in the Tamil month of Chitrai (April/May) for an annual festival, which takes place for fifteen days. They also meet in Coimbatore singanallur Koothandavar temple and Madurai reserve line Maariyamman Temple festival where they offer Mullapaari (sacred millets and grains) to mother goddess. Tamil Nadu has an estimated population of more than 30,000 transgender people. It has made great strides in trying to integrate transgender people into society.

Problem faced by transgender in Tamil Nadu

Discrimination – Transgender are discriminated in the society in all lifestyles. In public places like bus stations, railways stations, theatres, temples, schools,colleges, universities, corporate offices, malls, beaches and even in public toilets,transgender are offended or abused.

• Employment – Due to poverty, discrimination, and lack of skills, many transgender have no choice of livelihood. They engage in sex work and begging.Even if an organization employs them, they were offered only very low income jobs. Some transgender accept it, but their economic needs pressurize them to leave these jobs and once again engage in begging and sex work.

• Education – 90% of transgender do not complete even their secondary school education. Their academic knowledge is poor. Because of this reason, they are offered only very low income jobs.

• Homelessness – Homelessness is one of the major problems of transsexual people. When a transgender person ‘comes out’ to his or her parents, almost always, they were pushed out of their homes. Sometimes, unable to bear the violence and abuse from the family, they run away from home in search of people like them. If they were accepted by other Thirunangai family, they were lucky and can be a part of the family and live in their homes. Otherwise, they have to find a rented house. The public do not give their rented homes to transsexual people.Because of the fear, hatred and misconceptions about the lifestyle of transsexual people, almost 95% (Irom Gunachandra Singh, 2011) of the house owners turn down transgender people. There are some people who give their houses for rent to transsexual people. They charge enormous advance money and monthly rent which the transsexual person cannot afford to pay. In places like Chennai, almost all the transsexual women live in the slums. Transsexual women were poor and

marginalized and they were accepted in slums as people who struggle for living, understand and accept transgender than anybody else.

• HIV Care & Hygiene – In many private health care clinics and in government clinics, the discrimination still exists in treating a transgender patient. A transsexual woman may not be addressed properly in the gender that she identifies, and may not be treated with dignity. Medical fraternity still needs to completely understand the transgender community issues and treat them with respect and dignity, Transgender people, who are into sex work, do not practice hygienic activities. Though they insist their clients to use condoms, and protect themselves and their clients from HIV/STD, they were still prone to getting other diseases like skin diseases because of lack of hygienic practices. This is a serious health problem. Transgender need to be seriously sensitized on hygienic practices.

• Depression – Many transsexual people have a low self-esteem and self-worth because of their difficult childhood. Many of them had been driven out or flee from their homes in teens and early twenties. These people were mistreated wherever they went, wherever they choose to work. The verbal and physical abuse, the insults from people, the constant threat and danger from the rowdies and other sexual perverted men make them depressed. This is also one of the main reasons why transsexual people turn to alcohol for solace and happiness.

• Tobacco & Alcohol Abuse – Many transsexual women has been found to be using tobacco in various forms. They were addicted to tobacco because of depression, loneliness and insecurity. Consumption of alcohol is also found among many transsexual people. This is usually found among sex workers who wanted to get rid of their fears when they met their clients. Many sex workers among the transsexual community desperately need treatment to avoid tobacco and alcohol and need counseling help.

• Marriage & Adoption – Transsexual women and men should have the right to marry, adopt children and be entitled to all legal protections that non-transgender people are entitled to. Presently in India, there is no legislation to regulate transsexual people’s marriages. It is important that an amendment be introduced in marriage laws.

• Aging – Aging is a severe problem for the poor transsexual women. These senior citizens are not accepted in the Homes for the Aged. They mostly live with transgender women’s families of Jamaths. They cannot go for begging because of their age. They depend on the young people in the family for survival. Though the young transsexuals respect the seniors, they may not be able to help older transsexual women fully. Many old community members are diabetic and have high or low blood pressure.

Major findings by study

Majority (25%) of the transgender are belonging to BC and MBC caste.

 The transgender youth have a minimum (65%) educational qualification starting

from higher secondary.

 About 47.5 % of the respondents are living with their community.

 About 30% of total respondents are left with beggary and receiving alms from others and about 42.5% of the respondents are working in project and documentation work of NGO.

 Self-employment is the primary choice of transgender youth as 50 % of the total respondents are self-employed. Followed by, third sector – NGO’s are giving livelihood options as 37.5 % of the respondents are chosen NGOs as their present occupation.

 Majority (52.5%) of the total respondents are leading their life with mere less than Rs. 4000 /- per month. The 42.5% of the respondents’ families are not accepting their family member becoming a transgender because it unduly affects other members of the family in their society. About 30% of the respondents felt that they are neglected by their family as their conversation into transgender is perceived as a shame by the family and relatives.

 Majorities (52.5%) of the initial reaction of parents are expulsion from home and they are isolated from the family and the society. The parents only concerned about their child transition into transgender but not their child.

 When emotionally down in their life, the majority (60%) of the respondents are sharing their feelings predominantly with their peer group.

 In this study reveals that among the all forms of abuse reported by the respondents, verbal abuse (75%) followed by physical abuse (55%) are high compared to other forms of abuses.

 Verbal abuse is the prevalent form of abuse among Scheduled Caste (9) group followed by Other Backward Class (8)

 Majority of the respondents’ informed verbal abuse as the frequent form of abuse whereas (22) respondents mentioned that physical abuse as the second prevalent form of abuse

 Majority of the total respondents (22) experienced verbal abuse and it is higher among transgender who have been working in NGOs sector.

 About (67.5%) Transgender experience frequent perpetuation of abuses such as sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuses from general public.

 About 40% respondents are not aware of their support system.

 The (37.5 %) of the respondents are neglected either in educational and work

settings.

 Majority (48%) of the respondents having low level of coping with emotions.

 (32) Scores of the respondents are highlighting that they have an average and low levels of coping with emotions.

 Higher frequency of respondents (8) who are working in NGOs having low level of coping with emotions whereas five persons score informed that they have average level of coping with emotions and just one person has high level of coping with emotions.

 Majority (27) of the total respondents from the both age groups i.e. 15 – 22 years and 23 – 30 years are having an average level of coping with stress.

 Irrespective of the community, more than half of the total respondents (27) are having average level of coping with stress.

 Self-employed transgender (15) are reportedly having an average level of coping with stress than other category of respondents.

 Majority (25) respondents irrespective of age, educational qualification and category of occupation, the transgender have shown average level of problem solving strategies.

 Level of cognitive restructuring is going high as the age increases as four respondents in the age group of 23 – 30 years and one respondent in the age group of 15 – 22 years are having high level of cognitive restructuring as their coping strategy

 The (5) respondents are completed higher secondary students are having comparatively higher cognitive restructuring

 Majority (10) self-employed respondents have reportedly had low cognitive restructuring whereas transgender working in NGOs found to be having high cognitive restructuring.

 Majority (21) of the total respondents reportedly having high level of expression of emotions as their dominant coping strategy.

 Eight respondents of age group 15 – 22 years and ten respondents of age group of 23 – 30 years are having an average level of social support as their coping strategy.

 The (14) respondents are having lower social support as per the educational qualification.

 The (22) respondents are having low level of social support and 18 of the respondents are having average level of social support as per the category of occupation.The (26) respondents are having high level of problem avoidance strategies in terms of age group of 15-30.

 The one third of the respondents having low level of wishful thinking and more than half of the respondents (26) are having average level of wishful thinking strategy as per the age group.

 Majority (28) of the respondents is self-employed and NGOs occupations of the respondents are having average level of self-criticism strategies.

 The 16 of the respondents of age group 23-30 are having high level of social withdrawal.

 Majority (20) of the respondents are completed higher secondary having high level of social withdrawal as coping strategies.

 The (28) of the respondents in the study area having a high level of social withdrawal by considering the self-employed, NGOs, private sector occupation and prostitution.

 Total eight coping strategies the high mean value 2.68 indicate social withdrawal factor influencing transgender youth and low mean value 1.45 indicate social support factor influencing transgender youth.

Suggestions

 Health care facility and mental health counseling Centre should be provided for the transgender.

 Training and awareness programmes like skill development, employability skills,vocational and life skills and personality development training should be provided to them.

 There need to be concrete measures and mechanisms to promote and protect their rights.

 Transgender should be given equal rights to express their thoughts, expression and freedom of speech in the society.

 The two percent reservation in government job should be implementing as much as possible among transgender community. Transgender students, school psychologists can implement coping strategies and make recommendations for school-wide changes to promote positive development for all students.

 More research studies should be supported in order to gain refined understanding of their psycho-social issues.

 Finally Parents should not discriminate the transgender and should take special care of them and treat them normally, so that they would be able to live in their respective families with dignity.

Conclusion

This is the first study which depicted the level of coping strategies of transgender which conducted in Chennai. Transgender youth are diverse and are represented across demographic variables, including their sexual orientations. They face considerable health and well-being disparities especially with coping strategies. It is important to address the challenging environments these youth face and to increase access to responsive services for transgender youth. However, they also need to be trained in coping with emotions and stress as these predominantly contribute for their mental health issues. The findings of this study suggest the need for practitioners to focus on different interventions that reduce psycho-social problems of transgender while increasing social support, employment opportunity and overall development for transgender youth. It helps them to understand their own self and motivates them to come forward in society.

The Trans-alaska Pipeline : the Must-see Attraction for the Caribou

What travels at about six miles per hour, crosses over 800 rivers and streams as well as three mountain passes, and takes six days to reach its destination?

You’ve got it! Oil!

Every day, about 1.8 million barrels of oil travel down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields in North Alaska to the port of Valdez in Prince William Sound.

Slightly less than half of the $8 billion pipeline built in the mid 70s is buried. The remaining pipeline is on 78,000 aboveground supports, located 60 feet apart following a zigzag pattern to relieve stress from the traveling hot oil.

Winding from the Arctic region of Prudhoe Bay to the ice-free port of Valdez, the pipeline is visible near Fairbanks, Glennallen, Delta Junction, Valdez and along the Dalton and Richardson Highways.

It is little wonder that the 800 miles of this 48-inch pipe has become one of Alaska’s “must see” attractions. But interestingly enough – it is not just the humans who flock to be near it.

Apparently, and despite conservationists’ fears that the pipeline would disrupt the animals’ migration routes, it appears that the caribou are unexpectedly attracted to the warmth of the pipeline. The oil in the pipeline is warmed to ease its flow through the pipe, and caribou have been spotted near the pipeline in winter supposedly drawing comfort and support from the heat. There are even some reports of caribou giving birth next to it.

In the summer, the caribou are known to congregate under the pipeline in order to get away from the mosquitos.

For humans, those wanting to see this man-made wonder for themselves, Fairbanks is a good place to start.

The Alyeska Pipeline Visitor Center, less than 10 miles from downtown Fairbanks, attracts thousands of visitors each year. From early May through mid-September this is the ideal place to view the pipeline and learn about its history and how it is operated.

If you want to see more of the pipeline than this, Fairbanks is also the ideal launch pad for bus tours and flight tours to Prudhoe Bay, but you need to be aware that valid picture identification like a passport or driver’s license is necessary in order to take part in the tour of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, and entrance to the oil fields is only available through commercial tour operators.

If that doesn’t matter to you, you could always drive yourself to Prudhoe Bay, but be warned that most rental companies will not allow you to drive their cars on the Dalton Highway – which really should tell you enough not to take your own car along this route.

But this is Alaska, and this is an adventure after all….

The Dalton Highway, Alaska’s life line to the Arctic, directly parallels the pipeline and was in fact built during construction of the line to provide access to remote construction camps.

Today, the 420-mile highway begins just north of Fairbanks and leads north across the Arctic Circle to Coldfoot, the first stopover for bus tours to the oil fields. Coldfoot is also a jumping off point to the Gates of the Arctic National Park.

The 240 miles from there to journey’s end at Deadhorse offer no services for travelers.

Permits are no longer required to drive the gravel highway, but travelers should be prepared to drive slowly as the gravel road is very rough.

In the other direction, and a less rugged alternative perhaps, the Richardson Highway from Fairbanks to Valdez also offers good views of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

And finally the port of Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most important ports in Alaska.

A trip to Valdez allows the best views of the pipeline as it snakes its way down to the marine terminal at tidewater and unloads its liquid cargo into waiting tankers.

And what more splendid location to end the journey of 800 miles than this beautiful fishing port – also known as “the Switzerland of Alaska”.

Since 1977, 15 billion barrels of oil have flowed through the pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez and nearly 20,000 tankers have loaded there. At the time of its construction it was the biggest privately funded construction project and is today one of the largest pipeline systems in the world.

Astronauts say they can see it from space and the caribou like it because it’s warm!

A “must-see” attraction indeed.

6 simpler ways to commute in Mumbai

Mumbai is truly a city of dreams for people who want to make it big in life. It keeps its civilians on their toes when it comes to daily commute. Rest assured, you won’t feel short of commuting options as you’ve got everything from local trains, buses, metro trains, cabs, mono rail and autos to name a few. Local trains and BEST buses are the busiest modes of transit in the city. Its first ever Metro line connecting its western side to central has also been a major relief. Let’s have a closer look at ways in which you can commute better.

Local trains:

Mumbai is incomplete without its local rail network. Locals here are the most popular modes of transit in the city with four different lines viz. western, central, harbour and trans-harbour. Western line connects Churchgate in the south to Dahanu Road in the north, Central connects Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Kalyan Junction after which it gets divided into two different routes Kasara in north-east and Khopoli in south-east. Harbour line splits into two corridors, one going towards Panvel and other towards Andheri whereas Trans-habour line connects Thane to Vashi and Nerul. These trains can help you reach wherever you please in shortest time possible at an unbelievably economical fare. Have a look local train fare for several routes in Mumbai.

BEST Buses:

The iconic red BEST buses ferrying 4.8 million passengers over 365 routes symbolize the city. These buses connect almost every place in the city with five different routes viz. feeder routes, east west connecters, trunk routes, AC express routes, & AC standard routes. All the major business districts and residential complexes are connected by feeder routes whereas east west connectors help in reaching from one side of an area to another. Trunk routes operate north to south, almost parallel to the railway line whereas AC express routes run on the expressways of the city. AC standard routes are a blessing for the as they run across the city. Its fare, frequency and connectivity makes it one of the most preferred modes of transit in the city. Here’s the fare chart of BEST buses in Mumbai.

Metro Train:

Phase 1 of metro train in Mumbai came as a breather for people commuting from central side of the city to western, especially the ones travelling to Andheri Kurla road. This 11.07 km long route has over 12 stations with annual ridership of 100 million passengers. Mumbai metro stations have been strategically positioned to connect several important areas in the vicinity. From residential areas in Andheri west to commercial complexes in Andheri east the metro now connects central side of the city too. Metro is the fastest mode of transit with the average headway of 3 minutes in peak hours. Wondering what would a metro ride cost you? Checkout the latest Mumbai Metro fare below.

Mono Rail:

Mono rail developed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in association with a consortium of Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai and Scomi Engineering Bhd, Malaysia is India’s first ever mono rail project after the closure of Patiala State Monorail Trainways in 1920’s. Lunched on February 2, 2014, this 19.54 km long line has 7 stations connecting Wadala Depot to Chembur with an average headway of 15 minutes. Fare for mono rail is given as under:

Autos:

Autos are nothing but black and yellow three-wheeled cross between a rickshaw and a motorbike, commonly used in Mumbai to reach from one point of the city to another. You can hire autos from the streets or from dedicated auto stands. Here’s what you’d end up paying per ride.

Cabs:

Nothing can be simpler than finding a cab with too many taxi apps floating in the market. You’d get everything ranging from conventional black and yellow Padmini Taxis to the Ola’s and Uber’s of the world. But be ready to pay a higher price for the comfort and convenience offered. Here’s a list of top six taxi apps in Mumbai along with fare details.

Know everything about the bus transport service from Singapore to Malaysia: Part I

Lots of travelers visit Singapore to Malaysia daily. Most of them prefer public transports than the private taxi hire service. But why? Buses are available almost every time and in a regular basis and you can book it standing in the queue of the counter outside the terminals or can book it online by going to the public transport website of Singapore. They provide enough room for the passengers along with their luggage and you can enjoy the ride with your family. These buses are air-conditioned and are packed with all modern facilities. These bus services are quite reliable than the private cabs as many groups ride it together. They are quick and punctual and offer a point-to-point shuttle and pick and drop facility and the baggage transport is free too.

This reliable and safe bus transportation service from Singapore to Malaysia are provided by two main transit supplier companies, the SBS Transit limited which has more than 300 services and 3,000 buses and the SMRT Buses or the Trans Island Bus Services, which has more than 100 routes and 1,200 buses. Both the commuters have both single and double decker vehicles. Both the transit companies acquire various models of buses, some of them are quite luxurious. They also offer night services and both the long-route and short-route facilities.

There are some of the bus routes that link Singapore and Malaysia. They are,

Express

The bus commuting through this route stops at several stands and runs on expressways for a faster service between numerous cities.

NightRider and Nite Owl

They run at night on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of Public Holidays, when other bus transports don’t travel.

Fast Forward

It is the route which offer a faster transport and stops at fewer stoppages.

Parks

This route runs from the major parks of the city to the nearest bus stoppage.

Premium

This bus route charges a flat fare.

Cross Border Services

This route crosses the causeway into Malaysia.

Bus transports commuting from Singapore to Malaysia, generally runs to the Kuala Lampur Sentral or to Kuala Lumpur International Airport from where you have to take the train. To hire a bus commuter from Singapore, you have to reach the large shopping compound known as the Golden Mile Complex. Many bus agencies have their ticket counters there. Some of the deluxe bus services also provide online bookings. Some of the famous Singapore to KL transports are Singapore to KL Bus Tour, Bus Coach Singapore, Singapore Tour Packages and so on.

The charter minibus companies provide luxurious bus services with all the facilities of a lavish limousine. To access a reliable and safe bus transportation service from Singapore to Malaysia, you have to read their reviews online.