Shivani Bhat or Shivy (that's the name he goes by now) is a 19-year-old trasgender teen who lives in California. He's a student of neurobiology at the University of California and has been living in the United States for many years.
That doesn't sound bad, right?
In June of this year, Shivy's parents got into an argument about Shivy waning to cut his hair. As a result, his phone was confiscated, his laptop taken, and he wasn't allowed to get out of his own house. That's despite the fact that Shivy is recognized as an 'adult' in the eyes of the law. After being forced to unlock his phone, his mother found out that Shivy was transgender, and that only made things worse.
Next thing you know, Shivy is on a flight to India, under the pretext of meeting his sick grandmother, only to land and find out that he's never returning to the United States. And if that isn't shocking enough, here's something that will knock the air out of you.
Shivy was enrolled in the DEI University in Agra to learn values, and learn to behave like a good Indian woman. In case you don't know, the DEI University is the university of the Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, a faith that believes in inculcating values and faiths through service and satsangs.
Fortunately for Shivy, he managed to escape the university with the help of Nazariya, a queer group based in Delhi. Here's a video that Shivy made to tell his story:
Shivy's passport, green card, birth certificate, all kind of identification was taken against his will by his own parents. He was being forced to behave like a girl, and was told that his tripe to Agra would "fix" him. He was beaten, closely monitored, and treated like a prisoner.
Now, after winning the case in the Delhi High Court, Shivy has returned to California, but the struggle that he went through is the same struggle that so many in India have to go through. The fact that they are considered "disgusting" and that they "don't deserve respect" is saddening.
Even though India is one of the few countries that recognise transgenders as a "third gender". But after seeing Shivy's story, it looks like the society is a long way from granting them their rights, and the respect they deserve.