How lockdowns forced Kashmir’s transgenders into a life sans dignity

Kashmir transgenders
The consecutive lockdowns since 2019 due to political uncertainty and Covid-19 has shrunk the means of earning of transgenders in Kashmir, forcing them to take to sex work | Photo - Safeena Wani

As the sun sets in Srinagar, Muskan, a 26-year-old trans-woman, comes out of her rented accommodation and waits on the streets for clients. Before what she calls “the brutal transition of August 5, 2019”, Muskan used to “counsel and try to mainstream” some trans-persons engaged in sex work.

“And now, here I am, doing the same!” she says.

It wasn’t easy for Muskan to open up with this journalist. After a lot of reluctance and cancelling a few interviews, she agreed to meet at a popular walk-way bridge on river Jhelum—the Zero Bridge.

“Zero is the summary of my life as well,” she declares, piteously.

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