Overcoming all the discrimination and rejection from society is not as easy as it seems to be. Being transgender, they not only fight an internal struggle but also face stigma and harassment from the so-called ‘normal’ people in society. Here is an inspiring story from two such superwomen who gave a brave fight against bullying and earned their medical degree against all odds!
Dr. VS Priya, currently working at Sitaram Ayurveda Hospital, and Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju, an MBBS from the state of Karnataka are a true inspiration who fulfilled their dreams despite all barriers.
Dr. Priya, who was assigned male at birth, understood her feminine identity during her childhood. So the idea of living in a “wrong body” constantly took troll on her. Not knowing how her parents would react, she was scared to reveal her true identity to her parents. She says, “I didn’t know how they were going to take the news. All I could do at the time was to write my problems down in my diary which they eventually found.”
To her surprise, her parents provided her with all the support that she needed to face the situation.“Unlike other transgenders, I was privileged enough to have my parents help me achieve my dream of transitioning. My parents supported me, both mentally and financially, and for that, I will be always grateful to them,” says Dr. VS Priya.
Her parents took her to a hospital, assuming a psychiatrist could help me. Thankfully, the doctor also said that she didn’t have any mental issues.
As transgenders have always faced discrimination at various fronts in society, Priya was afraid of revealing her identity to others. It was at the age of 15 when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to reveal her identity to society for fear of being mocked or bullied.
“I completed my Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS) as a man,” she says, adding, “Just to avoid questions on marriage, I then pursued Medicine Doctor (MD) in Mangalore. After completing the course, I got the opportunity to work as a guest lecturer in Government Ayurveda Medical College, Tripunithura, and Government Ayurveda College, Kannur. During this period, I tried really hard to be more manly. From my walking style to dressing like a man, I was very particular about not revealing my feminine identity.”
It was very difficult for Dr.Priya to pretend to be what she wasn’t. Her identity haunted her, and she decided to opt for surgery.Today, after going through six surgeries, Dr. Priya says, “I have two more surgeries — voice therapy and cosmetic surgery, to go through. The cost of the surgeries differs according to needs. A normal transplant surgery costs up to Rs 3 lakh but I wanted it to be perfect. So, I opted for a costlier surgery of Rs 8 lakh. I took the money for the operations from my savings but 95 percent of it was given by my parents.”
As she returned to work as Dr.Priya, she was tensed about the reaction of hospital authorities but all of them were very supportive towards her.
Born as Angad Gummaraju to Bengaluru-based parents, Dr. Trinetra had to deal with names like ‘faggot’ and many more throughout her schooling. When she revealed her identity to her parents, they didn't take it well and were in denial. She says “I channelized all my energy towards my studies. That was the one thing no one could take away from me. Over time, I realized I wanted to use my knowledge in the operating room. I wanted to be a doctor. I finally found my path, but was I ready to walk on it as a man?”
When she finally gathered the courage, she put up a post on FB that read ‘Call Me Trinetra’, officially coming out as a woman. “My phone rang immediately, it was Maa. She simply said, ‘So Trinetra…’ & I broke down. It felt real. That’s when I decided to start transitioning.” quoted the doctor.
Trinetra is also a famous Vlogger who had been documenting her transition journey on her YouTube channel ‘The Trinetra Method’. She has a tremendous following on social media and continues to inspire thousands of young minds.
“You have to accord me the respect that title deserves…that I deserve. Because when I’m saving your life, you will not be concerned with the fact that I was once seen as a man,” she concluded with a bang.
Have any such inspirational stories to share? Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to publish them.