Bengaluru/Mumbai: Along with other members of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, the transgender community in India on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement decriminalizing homosexuality.

“What a landmark judgement the Honorable Supreme Court has passed today. I’m thrilled, I’ve got goosebumps all over. This is a judgement we’ve eagerly awaited for ages. Now that it’s actually happened, it’s a dream come true for us," said Simran Shaikh, programme officer, India HIV/AIDS Alliance, a non-profit.

Shaikh is a key member of the organization’s Pehchaan programme, which has been running the “207 against 377" campaign bringing together stakeholders calling for the repeal of section 377, ever since a 2013 Supreme Court judgement upheld the archaic section.

“The transgender community in India has never been segregated from the LGBTQ+ community. Transpeople were also under the scanner of section 377—in fact, any individual who could not proclaim the procedure of sexual acts was under the scanner," said Shaikh.

“I can only hope that this leads to greater inclusion of trans and LGBTQ people in every sphere of life, including the corporate sector," said Nayana Udupi, a transwoman working as a marketing executive at Bengaluru-based ThoughtWorks, an IT services company.

She said it’s tough for transgender individuals to even rent homes because of social prejudice. “This is a huge step forward, but there’s a long battle ahead as we have to change social mindset against us. If society doesn’t give transgenders jobs and education, and stigmatizes them for begging and sex work, how are they going to live? Who will support them?" asked Udupi.

“Members of the transgender community are some of the most marginalized, visible and underprivileged on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and now they can move forward to claim better healthcare, jobs, education and social respect," said Jayna Kothari, executive director, Centre for Law and Policy Research.

Also read: Will the SC verdict on Section 377 encourage others in Bollywood to come out?

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