Here’s What India Thinks Of The Transgender Community

A one-of-a-kind poll from BuzzFeed News and Ipsos shows broad support among Indians for non-discrimination protections, welfare benefits, and reservations for transgender people.

BuzzFeed News and the polling firm Ipsos partnered with UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute to conduct a survey on attitudes towards transgender people across 23 countries.

Noah Seelam / AFP / Getty Images

In India, the survey was conducted in person due to low internet penetration. The sample consists of 610 adults between the ages of 18 and 99.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that the government must enact broad reforms to correct the history of transgender discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty Images

Instead, it called for affirmative action for transgender people in employment and schools, and giving them welfare benefits.

A majority of people in the survey said they supported the progressive transgender rights bill unanimously passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2015.

Punit Paranjpe / AFP / Getty Images

Our survey was conducted before a more conservative version of a transgender rights bill — which has been widely condemned by transgender activists — was introduced by the government in the Lok Sabha in August 2016. But 68% of respondents in our survey said they agreed the more progressive version that passed the Rajya Sabha should also be enacted into law.

You can read the complete findings of the BuzzFeed News/Ipsos survey — which covered 23 countries around the world — on BuzzFeed News. Here are some specific findings about Indians’ attitudes toward transgender people:

1. Around 85% believe that transgender people should be protected from discrimination by the government.

BuzzFeed News

While the current draft of the Transgender Bill in our country is against discrimination across spaces, it fails to define discrimination to begin with.

2. 82% of Indians supported the 2014 Supreme Court order protecting transgender rights, with 47% of them strongly agreeing and 35% somewhat agreeing.

Punit Paranjpe / AFP / Getty Images

3. 64% of Indians believe that transgender persons should be allowed to be biological parents to children.

BuzzFeed News

4. 73% of Indians believe that transgender persons should also be allowed to adopt children.

Noah Seelam / AFP / Getty Images

5. 74% of Indians think there should be public bathrooms reserved for transgender persons.

Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty Images

6. 64% said they also support reserving seats in the legislature for transgender people, similar to the 33% reservation for women.

Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP / Getty Images

80% also support reservations for them in education to combat discrimination and ensure their children can be admitted into schools.

7. 70% of Indians agree that transgender people should be allowed to have surgery so that their body matches their identity.

Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

8. 80% of Indians believe transgender persons should receive financial assistance from the government.

Noah Seelam / AFP / Getty Images

However, Indians reported that they were less familiar with transgender people than people in many other countries in the survey:

9. Only 20% of Indian respondents in the survey said they know a transgender person.

BuzzFeed News

10. Indian respondents also expressed less comfort with transgender people than with those who identfy as gay/lesbian when asked how they felt about both groups as neighbours.

BuzzFeed News

India was second only to Russia in this regard.

11. While 24% of the respondents thought that individuals should be able to change their legal sex designation without any restrictions, around 11% of Indians opposed changing legal sex designation for any reason.

BuzzFeed News

12. 48% of Indians agree that trans persons have spiritual gifts, consistent with the superstition that a hijra’s blessings are considered to be powerful.

BuzzFeed News

13. 62% also seem to agree that trans persons have a special place in society.

BuzzFeed News

14. At the same time, around 49% agreed that transgender people “are committing a sin.”

BuzzFeed News

15. 55% of Indians say that transgender persons are “violating the traditions of my culture.”

BuzzFeed News

16. Also, 69% of Indians believe that transgender persons have a form of physical disability, and 57% feel that they have a form of mental illness.

BuzzFeed News

Overall, India placed eighth when it came to public support for trans rights of countries in the BuzzFeed News survey.

BuzzFeed News

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 
  Your Reaction?
  REACT WITH GIF
 

    Contributions

    Now Buzzing