Graphic Art by HRLN

District level meeting in Telangana on Housing Rights, Karimnagar Report

Transgender Persons as soon as they come out to their family about their gender, they are treated in with extreme discrimination, except in the rarest of rare cases. They are homeless to begin with as in most cases the family does not support the person. Further, even if they manage to procure resources to rent a house, they are discriminated against in renting and buying houses, which further leads to their ghettoisation and extreme hardship.

Transgender person homesless to begin with

Transgender Persons are treated in mostly three ways. One, they are either sent out of their house, left to fend for themselves, with no resources from their house or assistance from family. This is doubly damaging since along with the family disregarding their existence, the state has also refused to provide any services or protective measures to enable a Transgender Person to live independently.

Second, the family considers their family member who would have come out as a transgender person to be a bane to their family and are held responsible for destroying the family name and breaking the family lineage as such, this then leads to the family abusing the transgender person being abused and their rights being violated by the family, the abuse is of many a kind – physical, sexual and mental. There are a number of instances where transgender persons are raped by their family members as a part of their conversion therapy, beaten till the point of death, cutting them off from the rest of the members of society – by snatching away their phone, restricting their movement, confiscating their identification papers and all kinds of movement of theirs being surveilled by the family.

The third response that is observed to be extremely common is that of complete denial of the gender identity of the Transgender Person, where the family refuses to accept the person’s self identified gender as theirs and continues to restrict the manner in which they represent themselves, humiliates and abuses the person and everyone they reach out to assistance for are called frauds and liars, with the sole aim of controlling them and their lives. Therefore, as soon as one comes out as trans they immediately become homeless, either in the understanding that they are sent out of their house or they are controlled so much that they are not able to exert their freedom of expression in whichever manner they would want. Therefore except in the rarest of cases a Transgender Person is born homeless.

Most persons who do indeed come out as to their immediate family about their gender are either sent out of their homes or the home environment becomes so restrictive and abusive that they run away from their homes. Therefore rendering Transgender Persons both without shelter, homeless and without any form and manner of support. This leads to a number of transgender persons out on the street, who are then left to fend for themselves. In the absence of support from the state that is specifically targeted for transgender persons, once transgender persons leave the house they were born in, they are left without shelter and out to fend for themselves, leaving them out on the street.

Discrimination in buying and renting houses

Even in the event when Transgender Persons are able to raise enough capital in order to rent or buy houses they again face discrimination from landlords. Transgender Persons are forced to shift houses more frequently than cis-gendered persons and their rent in hiked in order to restrict access. This increases the web of vulnerability in which Transgender Persons are caught in.

NALSA Judgement

Even though NALSA Judgement had specifically asked for the state to create welfare schemes and policies for transgender persons, in particular keeping in mind the lack of access to affordable housing. But as of date neither the state nor the Central Government has started a single scheme that takes into consideration the issues faced by transgender persons. Furthermore most of the housing schemes that are implemented and are in place do not provide reservation for transgender persons.

This is in a situation where transgender persons are a group and community where one is hardly able to access housing as a right.