For Shaman Gupta, logging on to Facebook was almost a ritual of survival in 2015. The tiny chat boxes allowed him, in Dehradun, to access a small community of fellow trans men who struggled with the same dysphoria. A transgender person’s sense of their own gender differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
With information scarce and connections limited, he did not know who he could turn to, to find answers about his body. Going online eased his journey of coming out and identifying as a trans man. “I wondered how a trans man in a rural pocket, without that internet connection, may probably have to spend an entire lifetime living in a body that they do not feel comfortable in. The gap felt so huge,” he told IndiaSpend.
Gupta, 33, and six other transgender activists would go on to form the Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust, or TWEET Foundation, in 2017. The organisation has its roots in a circulating spreadsheet of non-judgemental doctors in various cities across the country. Today, TWEET Foundation is based out of Delhi and Mumbai, with one shelter home in each city.
It runs a dedicated helpline where trans-affirmative sexual and reproductive health and rights services and health linkages are made available over a…