New Delhi: Imagining a life being a woman in a man’s body might just sound next to impossible, but fighting all odds this trans-woman from Karnataka have dealt it all. She has not only undergone her internal struggle, rejection from society and family initially but also had to deal with name callings from like ‘faggot’ and many more. But, overcoming all struggles she has joined the group of transgender women who are making it big.
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Meet Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju, a 23-year-old trans-woman, a medical student who recently finished her MBBS exams and is now interning at the Kasturba Medical Hospital, Manipal. Completing her MBBS, she has also earned the position of Karnataka’s first trans-woman doctor. Studying in a private medical college in coastal Karnataka, Trinetra was born as Angad Gummaraju to Bengaluru-based parents and underwent a gender confirmation surgery (GCS) abroad in February this year. Also Read - Thanks to Karnataka Police, Woman Reunited With Her 9-Month-Old Son After He Was Left Abandoned
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, but have faced numerous online harassment and name callings regularly. However, recently she shared a very empowering post revealing her life journey. Her powerful Instagram post read, “Ch*kka, tr*nny, f*ggot, m*ttha, k*jja, and countless other titles were awarded. This day forward it’s ‘Doctor’.” Also Read - Wait Over! Tesla Finally Enters India as it Registers Office in Bengaluru; Karnataka CM Tweets Welcome to Elon Musk
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Soon after her inspirational journey post became viral on social media, Trinetra had also shared her journey with the online catalogue named Humans of Bombay.
She revealed, “When I was born, my family was overjoyed at their first born child–a son. But I never thought of myself as a boy. I’d wear Maa’s saree, put on her makeup & parade around the house. Initially, everyone found it cute, but when they saw this ‘phase’ go on for longer than expected, they hid these items from me, saying, ‘You’re too old for this’ (sic).”
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Soon after, 5-year-old Trinetra had a baby brother but could not comprehend being called an ‘older brother’ and felt burdened with the conditioned upbringing. Growing up “into an unresolved teenager, who was scared to express”, Trinetra even had to try stereotypically masculine activities like sports to please her father but internally hated it.
And, later bullying at school made it even worse and so did the idea of being a gay person. She said, “My classmates called me names–I was referred to as, ‘faggot’. The bullying took a toll on me. Even when I realised I liked men, I assumed I was a gay man, but somehow the idea that I must be a ‘man’ didn’t feel right. Each time I wanted to be vulnerable, I was asked to be tough. I couldn’t cry, because ‘big boys don’t cry.’ So, I took the frustration out on myself. I started self harming. I thought that something was wrong with me. I’d pray day & night to be like others…to be ‘normal’(sic).”
One day, while watching a show where the protagonist was gay, Trinetra even blurted out the truth to her parents who “didn’t take it well and were in denial”.
And when she finally decided to come out to the world, it just added fuel to the fire. She said, “My classmates began harassing me–they’d feel me up; when I flinched, they’d say, ‘We know you like this’. Even my teachers didn’t spare me. I was made to read out loud in class only for them to mock my voice. Unable to find an escape, I channelized all my energy towards my studies. That was the one thing no one could take away from me. Over time I realised 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?
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It was merely a temporary relief after her hard work showed its result and she got through medical school as ‘the discomfort I felt in my own skin caught up with me. I’d grown up hating my body.’ She shared, “The only time I felt comfortable was when I wore crop tops or applied liner. I wanted to look a certain way but they’d just started accepting my sexual orientation, I didn’t want to drop another bomb. But I was so confused.”
But, it was at the age of 20, when she finally gathered up courage and said to self, “You’re a woman!”
She said, “I felt as free as that little kid who knew she was a girl but was conditioned to believe she was a boy. So, I 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.”
She added: “Embarking on this journey of transition made me see the gaping holes in the profession I’d chosen. I was once thrown out of a lecture for wearing a nose pin. I wasn’t allotted a room in the girl’s hostel because I didn’t have the ‘organs’ for it. It made me realise that the flag bearers of the field still suffer from transphobia. Even when I was researching my medical options for transitioning, information wasn’t easily available. It took me a while to find the right doctors given how few there are.”
After completion of multiple surgeries over a course of 2 years, Angad adopted the name Trinetra after Kali and her new identity was celebrated by her parents who threw a party in Bengaluru. She said, ” When my treatment finally ended and I looked at myself in the mirror and saw myself–it felt like a fog had been lifted. And just like that, years of disconnect vanished.”
After her transition from self-harm to self-love, Trinetra said, “Honestly, despite a few bumps in the road, I’ve never been this confident–I love my body; I love me.”
“Just a month ago, I finished my MBBS exams & began interning. I’d thought of this moment since the day I decided to be a doctor. Growing up, people have even called me ‘chakka’–I’d like to tell them, from this day on, I’m only known as Dr. Trinetra. And 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, ” her inspirational story read.