Sharmaji ka beta supports equal rights for the LGBTQ community. He believes that one should not be treated differently for their unconventional lifestyle choices. Hence, Sharma in his department at office, uses his influence to make sure that everyone gets a fair opportunity professionally irrespective of their orientation.
Once, Sharma was going to the washroom, when he saw a guy who had newly joined his team, fiddling outside the male washroom while eyeing the female washroom. Sharma approached him to inquire as to what he was looking for. The sudden entry by Sharma startled the new joinee and he ran away from the place making some excuse. Sharma was confused at his behavior. He thought that the guy looked almost scared of being caught outside the washroom.
Sharma found out later, that the guy had left early for home, taking a half day leave from the office. Worried for his new colleague, Sharma decided to speak to him.
Next day, Sharma ran into his new colleague. Seeing no one around, he spoke to his otherwise confident and charming colleague about his meltdown the previous day.
The colleague admitted of being a transgender. He confessed that he had used hormones earlier, but now that he is off it, he is menstruating again. He said, he doesn’t know how to pick washrooms during his periods as he identifies himself as a male, but the female hygiene systems are not available in male washrooms. He said he took off earlier the previous day, because he suddenly got his period, and felt vulnerable using the men’s washroom.
Sharma, really intrigued with the conversation, realized that he never thought of this situation. He began to understand the magnitude of struggle of the LGBTQ community. He figured out, that the taboo around the community has led everyone to be ignorant towards their most basic needs.
Sharma asserted that this was not a matter of LGBTQ rights, but human rights. He wrote to the administration at his workplace to make provision for LGBTQ friendly washrooms in the office. He also started calling out talking circles similar to Panchayat meetings in his village, as team building activity. In these meetings everyone was supposed to talk about their personal life struggles in order to get to know one another better and see each other as a person irrespective of their gender or orientation.
“It would take time for everyone to open up, but this will help in spreading awareness and build acceptance in everyone,” said Sharma.
Sharma has also created a petition regarding washroom rights, and is asking the corporates in his network to sign it. Sharma said, “This is to encourage more people from the community to opt for conventional jobs and feel a bit more secure at the office.”
Sharmaji, who himself was trapped in the taboo, started to melt down with the stories he heard about struggles faced by the community. He now has a new found respect for all of them and is encouraging his friends to come out of the taboo by accepting everyone with love. So why shouldn’t we all be more sensible like Sharmaji ka beta?
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The CSR Journal Team