In a purportedly well-intentioned albeit ignorant attempt to honor transgender people, the Noida Metro Rail Corporation changed the name of station 50 to “She-Man” station last june. The renaming came under immediate protest by transgender advocates as the term “She-Man” or “She-Male” is universally recognized as a trans defamatory slur.
Naming it the station ‘she-male’ would be equivalent to ‘tranny station’.
Local transgender advocates and those who ride the rail daily protested loudly emphatically asking that the station be renamed “Trans-Pride Station” if the intent was indeed well-intentioned.
The change to the more generic term “Pride Station” was announced on Tuesday leaving Kinnar and trans people dismayed, wondering if the NMRC was embarrassed to be associated with them.
“The station has been named ”Pride” as the NMRC feels extremely proud and privileged to have qualified members of the transgender community as part of the NMRC family. It also instills a sense of pride among the community and this step by NMRC is bound to be a ray of hope to uplift the members of this community and help in breaking stereotypes about them so that they too can live a dignified life with their head held high,” the NMRC said in a statement.
The name, the statement said, was selected after receiving suggestions from the general public and various NGOs and other organizations that work for the community.
Suggestions were called online from people on NMRC”s website and maximum people suggested the name “Pride”.
The “Pride” station, though dedicated to transgender people, will be open for all passengers. It will also provide employment opportunities for the transgender community, it added.
The artwork and look of the Pride station have also been done to signify the essence and spirit of the members of the transgender community according to the press release.
The renaming, the first in northern India followed a similar name change to the south according to Outlook India.
Earlier in 2017, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited in Kerala had taken a similar step by employing 23 transgender people, breaking new ground in gender justice.
Related: Nepal: Trans activists strive to end forced imposition of the third gender label