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by Sai Shruti

Read Time: 4 minute

Endeavoring for the upliftment of her sex, Rakshika Raj becomes India’s first transgender nurse. Rakshika's story is like a nail in a horseshoe. When she came out of her identity confusion, society did not accept her. This cord was strengthened further by knocking on the court's door and revealing its presence to the world. Though the road was full of thorns to reach the destination, she eventually became India's first registered transgender nurse and midwife.

The journey was not easy
Rakshika was born in Walajahabad in the Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. In an interview, she revealed that becoming India's first transgender nurse was not easy. To get here, she had to fight her way through the family, neighborhood, and the law. She says, ” Even now, when I recall those days of bullying and humiliation, I am filled with rage and fear. Being born transgender is a curse not only in North India but also in South India”.

Born with a boy's body but a girl's mind
Rakshika was born in a boy's body, but her mind used to think like a girl. Since she was a child, she had a strong desire to dress up in brightly colored outfits. She enjoyed sitting in a group of girls and talking like them in school. Other boys were startled after seeing a teenage boy mixing with groups of girls. They used to fuss about my sexual identity. It's around ninth grade when she went to the washroom, a group of boys appeared from behind her. she was completely unaware of their intrusion. Those boys stripped her pants in the washroom to determine her sexual identity. In an interview, she revealed how this incident broke her into pieces. She cried a lot after the accident and ran away while holding her pants.

Started working as a Peer Educator
During the school days, Rakshika met a transgender woman, who had come from the Social Welfare Association for Women to educate the patients about HIV. Rakshika narrated the story and said, “ The trans woman was dressed in boyish clothes and had long hair, and I recognized her and attempted to converse with her. When I met that transgender woman, she recognized me, and my life was forever changed”. Rakshika then began working as a Peer Educator in the Social Welfare Association.

Boys can’t become nurses
After completing her 12th, Rakshika wanted to join nursing college for further education. Her family was against this and said a boy can’t become a nurse. Rakshika decided she will become a nurse or else will leave her education. After a lot of struggle, finally she got admission to the nursing college. Rakshika revealed her identity in college and got full support from her fellow mates.

Taken to the doctor
Rakshika’s college principal revealed to her parents her gender identity. After knowing the truth, the parents took her to the doctor. They wanted to inject boys' hormones in her. Whenever Rakshika used to behave like a girl, the parents used to beat her. They were unable to accept her with her identity. She used to live in shame every day. After quarreling at the house, she ran away again this time and reached Kancheepuram.

Got in contact with a sex worker
After running from the house, Rakshika got in contact with a sex worker. Initially, she helped her with a living. After this, she started drama work with her. Rakshika started doing shows like Mahabharata and Ramayana shows.

Officially became a girl
In the 4th year of nursing, Rakshika got all her documents done in the name of the girl. She was so happy while getting a degree in college. Now she had become the first registered transgender woman to have taken a nursing course. After this, Rakshika started growing her hair and wore a sari.

The legal battle for license
After getting the degree, now Rakshika started working to get a nursing license. The Tamil Nadu Nurses and Midwives Council (TNNMC) form had the option of male and female, not third gender. The council told Rakshika to register in the girl's category, but she did not agree.

After a lot of struggle, the Supreme Court's 2014 judgment stated that any transgender person can apply for education and employment in the 'other' gender category. Rakshika said, “ After this, the Tamil Nadu Nurses and Midwives Council registered me in the third gender category. In this way, I became the first trans nurse in the country, who registered in the transgender category only”.


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