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Beyond Binary | Interview

first_img Prachi Sibal Mumbai January 18, 2019 ISSUE DATE: January 28, 2019UPDATED: January 18, 2019 19:36 IST Author Nandini Krishnan.Nandini Krishnan, in her second book, Invisible Men, writes about females who identify as males, referred to as transmasculine people. A community so marginalised that people often don’t know they exist. She spoke with Prachi Sibal about their stories and the storm that the book has been embroiled in. Q:Nandini Krishnan, in her second book, Invisible Men, writes about females who identify as males, referred to as transmasculine people. A community so marginalised that people often don’t know they exist. She spoke with Prachi Sibal about their stories and the storm that the book has been embroiled in.Q: What was your objective when writing a book on transmen?One was sharing of knowledge. Most people don’t even know transmen exist and the media has ensured that there are misconceptions about transpeople with mostly sensationalised and superficial coverage. The other objective was to repay my subjects for the hours spent they spent with me. The proceeds from the book’s sales will go to them. Many transmen are forced to run away from home, and often work in the exploitative, unorganised labour sector. Invisible Men Inside India’s Transmasculine Networks by Nandini Krishnan; Penguin Rs 699; 320 pagesQ: How have your views on gender and masculinity evolved?I used to think of sex as tertiary-male, female, intersex-and gender as a spectrum, but largely leaning towards either male or female. While working on the book, I met non-binary people who have changed the names they were assigned at birth, from a traditionally female name to a traditionally male name or vice versa, but did not identify with either gender. I met transmen who are attracted to men, and transmen who are pansexual.Q: What would you suggest to make the country a more inclusive place for transmasculine people?My only suggestion would be to listen. The government should listen to them, before passing callous bills like The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018. Medical professionals, courts, human resource personnel and us, sitting comfortably and tweeting with hashtags, should listen to them. As should the governing bodies for gendered fields such as sports and the armed forces. That is the only way to make the country more inclusive.advertisementQ: Were you prepared for criticism from within the community?No, one is never prepared for something on this scale. And it was something new every day, which made me think the main problem was the fact that a ciswoman had written it. One day it was the foreword, another day it was ‘casteism’, then it was a ‘Hindutva agenda’, then ‘colonialism’ and ‘violent nationalistic fantasy’. Next thing I know, I’m being tagged in pictures of the book being burnt on the streets.You’ve reached your article limitSign in to keep reading India TodaySign inSign up NOW to get:Premium content on Aaj Tak HD ChannelUnrestricted access to India Today magazine contentGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Nandini Krishnan Beyond Binary | InterviewNandini Krishnan on her second book, Invisible Men Inside India’s Transmasculine Networks.advertisement Nextlast_img

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