In 2015, Naina came out in the most beautiful, inspiring and courageous way possible. This student from Delhi's Vasant Valley School went up to the stage and declared her sexual identity to her entire school during assembly. If that does not define courage and inspiration, we do not know what will.
Her journey from being Krishna to becoming Naina has been exemplary. Not only is she the youngest openly transgender person in India, going by the name of nainaqueenb, she is quite the diva on social media. But things did not change overnight for her.
Naina battled depression and suicidal tendencies before she came out to the world. In an interview with Breaking Barriers she mentioned that it was all very difficult and she decided to put an end to all that by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. She adds "While there will be those ten odd people who will ask me these random questions and tell me that being transgender is unnatural, I just go and talk to my friends who really just love me...I have a lot of support. The do not treat me differently, they treat me the same. They treat me just like any other girl which is what I love."
As evinced from her interview, her mother Mishi and her group of friends are Naina's strongest support system.
"Just create a conversation, it does not matter if it is good or bad. You'd rather just have a conversation than just be quiet and scared of everything all the time", as she says in the video below uploaded by Now Delhi two days ago. One topic close to her heart is public toilets, which she can't use readily because she is neither permitted in the men's washroom nor the women's.
At the end of the day however, what Naina makes us realize is that transgender or not, she is just an average teenage girl.
As much as we would like to, we cannot be quick to rejoice. Not just yet. Brave girl that she is, Naina might have forced a conversation, but we as a society have some ways to go before we can live up to the ideals she embodies. The comments section of the video makes that apparent. While some appreciate Naina for her courage and resilience, many have decided to spew hatred.
We say, good going, Naina! More power to you.