“My name is Raghavi and I’m from Hosur, Krishnagiri district. I have studied up to twelfth standard. I realized that I was a transgender when I was in my 8th or 9th standard. By the time I was in the 12th grade, I wanted to drape a saree like other girls and get the surgery done. I went through the surgery in 2013 and was with other transgenders for four years. Post that, I came to Chennai.
I don’t like to be involved in begging or sex work. I wanted to go for a job and lead a dignified life without being dependent on others.
I am now employed in the housekeeping department at the Novotel Hotel, Siruseri, OMR. I am very happy that they have employed a transgender (viz., me) for this job and I’m sure they would treat us right when we go to work there. If they can be as inclusive as possible, it’d just make us more happy. I am glad that I can now go for a job and lead a dignified life. If everyone else can see us as their equals and not discriminate against us, things would be a lot better. I thank Novotel.
A request to other transgenders: there are a lot of job opportunities for us here, many don’t discriminate us the way they used to earlier. They respect us. Try as much as possible to go for socially exposed jobs. Don’t just try but make sure you go for one. Now I’m employed. PeriFerry has helped a few more as well in finding jobs.”
-Raghavi is currently employed in Housekeeping department, Novotel, OMR.
Interview by: Steevez Rodriguez
Edited for brevity by: Nanditha Ravindar