Sana, a postgraduate student, talks to The Hindu about her journey

How receptive was your family to your decisions?

After I was born, my parents dreamt of a life for their ‘perfect son’. However, as I grew, I began to identify more with the feminine gender and knew eventually that I was a woman. My parents were disappointed, of course, but they were more scared about my future.

When did you decide to pursue education?

I used to be a sex worker and also worked with a few organisations working for the transgender community. I wanted to quit sex work, as I encountered many problems.

I got jobs as housekeeping staff while someone asked if I wanted to sell vegetables.

I wanted to prove myself to society and decided to pursue education. I visited many colleges since 2012, but had to face rejection. The 2014 NALSA judgement was a turning point. I approached St. Joseph’s College and sought admission in the BA course. After a lot of struggle, I was admitted in August that year.

Did you face any discrimination or hardship in college?

Initially, I did. The students did not know how to deal with the fact that a transgender was studying with them.

I heard many disparaging comments while I walked down the corridors. However, I chose not to react and focussed all my energy on academics.

I was made college representative and cultural representative. Slowly, the opinions changed.

What are your plans for the future?

I dream of working in an office and having my own desk. That was the one thing that pushed me to work hard all these years.

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