“We had to put in a lot of pressure to have the third gender counted in the census,” said gender minority rights activist Sunil Babu Pant.
“It was only after we said that we would go to court that the officials agreed to include the third gender as a category.”
If the case had gone to court, it would likely have been upheld thanks to a landmark 2007 Supreme Court ruling that directed the state to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and decriminalize “unnatural sex.”
It also decreed the issue of citizenship certificates that clearly indicate an individual’s choice of gender identity.
…Among those happy to stand up and be counted in the third gender category is Dilu Buduja, 35. “I was born as a girl, but as I grew up I felt I was a boy. Today I totally feel like a man,” he said.
So I’m not entirely clear on who claims third gender status. Do people who are assigned one gender at birth but later realize they are a different gender (what Westerners would call trans people) consider themselves third gender? Do LGB people also consider themselves third gender? So many questions…