The recent decision by the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) to rename its Sector 50 station ‘She Man’ met with resistance from the transgender community in Delhi-NCR. Following the backlash, NMRC has announced on its website that it is now accepting suggestions for the station’s name. The trans community demanded for the name to be rolled back since it was “transphobic and insensitive” in nature, The Quint reported.

‘She Man’ is Derogatory

Ritu Maheshwari, NMRC Managing Director, said the renaming of the station is an initiative taken to promote the “inclusion and meaningful participation” of transgenders. The name “She Man”, Maheshwari said, “was suggested by Board of Directors and various other stakeholders, including NGOs who work in the field.” The decision to reform the Sector 5o station, that falls on the Aqua Line between Noida to Greater Noida, will reportedly also include gender-inclusive signs, employment of trans people, and an awareness campaign to educate metro travellers.

However, the move to rename the station has backfired since the trans community deems the term ‘she man’ a “slur.” Other terms like “he-she”, “hefemale”, “shemale”, and “ladyboy” are also included in the list of slurs used against trans people. Taking cognizance of this, NMRC posted a press release on its official website saying that it was now inviting suggestions from individuals and NGOs on what to name the metro station. Examples mentioned were “transgender station” and “rainbow station” – terms that would “resonate” with the community.

Reactions to NMRC’s Decision

Dr. Aqsa Shaikh, who identifies as a trans woman, told The Quint, “The term ‘She Man’ is derogatory. It means someone who is a mixture of male and female, as if half-male and half-female, and goes against the spirit of how transgender persons wish to define themselves.” She added, “a simple Google search would tell anyone this.”

Anjan Joshi, co-founder of SPACE Organisation that works on LGBT+ development, also said, “What do they mean by She Man? It’s an insult to the gender diverse and gender non-conforming community.”

NMRC’s initial decision to rename invited heavy criticism from netizens as well, asking for its revocation. One user, @sapphic_in, wrote on Twitter, “The decision by @noidametrorail @rituias2003 to call the sector 50 Noida metro station “she man” station is disgusting and derogatory to the very community it claims to be working for the welfare of.”

Image Credit: India Today

(You can email your suggestions of trans-friendly station names to NMRC at nmrcnoida@gmail.com by July 6, 2020.)

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