Twitter user and social activist, writer, Shalin Maria Lawrence raised the issue of discrimination faced by a transgender woman in Chennai. She shared the story on her page on January 10, 2022 about her friend Shaina Banu.
The woman runs a food stall near the second gate of the Madras School of Social Work in Egmore in Chennai.
Discrimination Faced By Transgender Woman Shaina Banu:
The shop located on Casa Major Road is named “Transgender Tasty Hut”. The shop is said to have been operational since March 2021. Many students who loved eating at the shop owned by Shaina Banu shared their pictures and video from the shop when the college was operational.
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One of the users made a regressive comment about the people getting confused with the name of Transgender Tasty Hut, suggesting it would be catering only to transgenders. However, Lawrence gave the user a befitting reply – “If you name a shop as “Kumar food hut” ,does that mean it is only for Kumars?”
Many social media users said that the word “transgender ” should be dropped from the shop name, to make it run efficiently. At the same time there are many shops by the name of communities in the area- “Marwari Bhojnalaya”, “Vaishnav Bhojan Grih” and other similar names.
Shalin Maria Lawrence also asked the followers on Twitters to spread the word about her friend’s shop and support her work. In her follow up tweet on the original one, she also added that the concern was for the passing crowds and not for the college as the college is shut during the pandemic.
We have many movies, debates and dialogues throughout the country about more acceptance of transgender community and yet the behaviour of the public is anything but offensive.
Many people who have been pointing the usage of word “transgender” in Banu’s stall name is the reason people are not going to the food stall. We are into 2022 and transgenders are still discriminated. We as a society are answerable to this.