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Coming Out as a Role Model

ISP Cochin Bureau 

Dr. Vibha Radhakrishnan has come out as a transgender and she is proud of it. What is more encouraging is that her friends and colleagues in the medical college and in the hospital where she works have been very supportive and encouraging for her to take that bold decision. 

Recently passed out from Calicut Medical College in Kerala, Vibha hails from Pathanamthitta district and lived a life of dilemma and confusion all through her childhood and school life. She manifested her so-called masculinity by way of being an extrovert in a boys group and riding a bike with friends but even after all these, she was uncomfortable inside. 

It was during the final year of her study in medical college that she revealed her identity as a transgender and openly wrote on the Facebook platform about her preferences. She was expecting a strong reaction but to her surprise, her classmates came out in support of her. 

The problem of a designated changing room for her and place of privacy was a challenge during her internship days and she would wait for a vacant room to change herself before entering an operation theatre with seniors. 

Vibha thinks a lot has changed but a lot of basic amenities need to be made adaptable for persons with gender fluidness in India. She feels the lack of awareness regarding the risks and challenges of gender correction surgery is a major worry which is taking the toll of transgender people in India. 

Another area of urgent need Vibha feels is the need to change the textbooks and teaching patterns which stereotypes a person of third gender. She insists that the taboo associated with high STDs prevalent among trans people is one such cliche thing taught in even specialised medical institutions.  She however feels the environment and awareness in her medical college was instrumental in helping her to reveal her identity and come out of the gender dilemma. 

Vibha wishes to pursue her post graduate studies in medicine and work towards creating more awareness regarding gender identities. She is among the few in India who has successfully pursued her career to become a qualified doctor. Vibha wishes more trans people to pursue higher education and set things right for themselves. 

An avid travel enthusiast and social media user, Vibha feels happy that she can be an inspiration for many trans community members to pursue higher education and excel in their fields. 

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