Advocate, High Court of Delhi
According to Sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (hereinafter referred to as the TPA), it extends to the whole of India and as per Clause (k) of Section 2 of the TPA, “transgender person” means a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-woman (whether or not such person has undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy), persons with intersex variations, genderqueer and person having such socio-cultural identities as: kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta. Importantly, Clause (i) of Section 2 of the TPA defines a person with intersex variations as a person who at birth shows variation in his or her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes or hormones from normative standard of male or female body. According to Section 4 of the TPA, a person has the right to be recognized as transgender person in terms of Section 2 (k) of the TPA and further, a person recognized as a transgender has a right to self-perceived gender identity. As per Section 5 of the TPA, a transgender person has the discretion to make an application to the District Magistrate for issuing a certificate of identity as a transgender person. Interestingly, if a transgender person undergoes surgery to change gender either as a male or female, then such change in gender effected by virtue of the surgery undergone by the trans gender person will not disentitle such person from the rights and entitlements under the TPA.
Keywords: Transgender, Kinner, Hijra, Aravani, Jogta, TPA Act