This is an awful story — and one that cannot go unnoticed. I’ll let Ajay share with you his story:
I got off the train late in the evening around half past 10 and began to walk towards my parent’s place. I always wear earphones listening to music and swiftly walk to avoid anything near or around me. When I was 20 minutes away from my destination I noticed around 8-10 cops standing near a police jeep. Almost all of them were not in their uniforms from their waist above. I was able to confirm that were cops by the khaki pants and the brown shoes that they were wearing. I saw three policewomen and five -six policemen.
One of the policewomen, as I quickly passed them pointed to me and yelled “Why are you wearing that thing that women wear? Why are you wearing leggings?” I picked up my pace and walked faster pretending not hearing her. She immediately signaled two policemen to grab me. The two policemen ran to me, grabbed me by the back of my neck and dragged me to the group, as I kept protesting and fighting. One of the men hit me in my shin with his stick for not stopping and instead, walking away. The women kept saying “Ai ombothu (offensive term for a hijra), pottai (offensive term for an effeminate man) can’t you hear me? Are you deaf?”. She then asked why I was wearing leggings. I kept quiet and I didn’t respond. She then said “Your kaai (offensive term for breasts) are really big.” As I’m chubby and as I have a fleshy chest she was referring to my chest as breasts.
The two policemen who held me, immediately felt my chest and when I protested a third policemen with a stick hit me on my knees. Then the two policemen felt my ass and commented on how big and plump it is. They said I may be taking a lot of d*ck up my ass. The policeman with the stick commented about my face. He said “I can f*ck your pretty face as long I live.” and then tried to put the wooden stick in my mouth. When I turned away from him a fourth cop walked to me and slapped me right across my face.
Sources at Gaysi Family — which published his this story — confirm that Ajay is currently safe and will provide updates as necessary.
Ajay’s story underscores an Indian legal culture that is complicit in the persecution of LGBTQ men and women. It’s the same culture that made me decide I no longer feel safe going back to India. Again, my loss is tiny and microscopic compared to the tale Ajay shares.
His story highlights another unfortunate undercurrent of homo- and transphobia in Indian culture: Women, who are also frequently marginalized in Indian society, have also become complicit in such hate crimes. To exacerbate matters, this is the same violent culture of hate that current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political party endorses by choosing silence over action.
Read the rest of Ajay’s story here.
The most heartbreaking part, of course, is that it’s unlikely the law enforcement officials responsible for this attack will face any kind of disciplinary action; they won’t get tried in court; they won’t even get a slap on the wrist.
This is your 21st century India, guys!