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Alisha Patel becomes Gujarat’s first trans-gender to receive ID card

A sense of rebirth. Alisha Patel became the first transgender in Gujarat to received ID Card (Pic: Courtesy indiattimes.com)

Identity for any person is extremely important, more so if one has been denied for years and years! Thus the joy of Alisha Patel on becoming the first trans-woman from Gujarat to receive a transgender identity card, knew no bounds.

Having lived for nearly forty years of life as Sandip, Patel was found to be having what is called gender dysphoria. Clinically it is defined as a feeling of distress caused due to a gender mismatch. Having been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, Patel paid Rs.8 lakhs and spent three years to become a woman.

Talking to Times of India, about this stamp of recognition, Patel said: “I can now confidently claim my identity and do things as a woman that I could not do earlier.”

Also read: Odisha to recruit transgender community members in police

For Patel, who is an oriental therapist, receiving an ID Card and the certificate from the State as per the new rules, was like being reborn. She told TOI: “It is like rebirth.”

When she became 12 years old, Patel realisation dawned on her, that from inside she was a woman. She was the youngest among six siblings and always preferred wearing a long skirt as uniform instead of the shorts for the boys.

In this period of struggle with herself on the issue of identity, Patel was fortunate to receive support from her family although she was a victim of discrimination at school, college and place of work. She said they supported her throughout without any objection. Further, she said that counselling by a psychiatrist helped her immensely to overcome her struggles and trauma.

She gave up pursuing a diploma in engineering to turn to her subject of interest, oriental therapy.

Also read: Making shelter homes for transgender persons, says Govt

In a chat with news agency ANI she said: “Initially, there were some apprehensions in other people, but I have survived them all. My body language, interest and way of talking conveyed that I would grow up to be a woman to my family.”

The Surat Social Defence Officer, Lalji Patel disclosed earlier the process of getting the ID was difficult and long but it has changed. “Now it is easily done through online registration.”