A transgender dancer was allegedly assaulted at a bar where she worked in Mumbai for demanding the wages that she had been promised.
According to a report in the DNA, Shivali Kumar, who is an actor and a dancer, and is currently undergoing a series of sex reaffirmation surgeries, began working at the Aachal Bar after she was introduced to the bar's owner by an acquaintance. She already works full-time at another bar but needed the extra money to support her surgeries.
Kumar said that she had informed her new employers that she was a transgender and that they had promised to pay her ₹4,000. However, they gave her only ₹400 because a customer had complained that she was not a woman. Kumar also said that she was brutally beaten up.
When the 27-year-old went to file an FIR at the Samta Nagar police station, she was asked to undergo tests to ascertain her gender so that a case could be registered under appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code, even though her Aadhar card clearly mentions her as a third gender.
Kumar has submitted all her documents to the Investigating Officer but says that she was told by the officer that in order to "make her case watertight" she should go through a gender determination test.
An advocacy manager from Humsafar Trust, India's oldest organisation that promotes LGBTQ rights, told DNA that because transgender laws are still in the process of being developed in India, the police try to determine a person's "biological gender" so that it becomes easier to file a case. The advocacy manager also said that in the absence of set laws, the police often refuse to file an FIR, but in Kumar's case they did so because she was accompanied by her parents.
Kumar who identifies herself as a woman is biologically male. She has been undergoing Hormonal Replacement Therapy for the last four years and has had her testicles removed 15 months ago. She was slated to have a silicon breast implant surgery which she had to miss because of the assault.
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