You are here: Rediff Home » India » News » Photos
Search: The Web
  Email this Page  |   Write to us


Being Rose: A peep into the world of a unique TV anchor

November 20, 2007
Text: Shobha Warrier in Chennai | Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

When the lights are switched on in the Tamil channel Star Vijay's studio some time in December, history will be made on Indian television.

On the anchor's seat will be sitting 28-year-old Rose. It will be the first ever time a transgender will host a TV talk show -- Ippadikku Rose.

"I believe transgenders are also members of the general public, but we are isolated in the society. I am highly educated. I have international experience. I am confident. I can talk well. Why not make use of my ability in a constructive way? This way, I want to change the way Indian society looks at us," Rose said of her plans.

From Rose's experience, she has found that it is not only the ordinary people who are ignorant about them but the so-called educated media too. A leading London newspaper described her as a man, which hurt her badly. An Indian newspaper wrote she was a transvestite.

"A transvestite is a man who occasionally dresses up as a woman just for the kicks. I am a transgender; a woman’s mind trapped in a man's body," Rose said.

She is sad that the Indian culture, which accepted the third gender long ago, has changed over the years. "I think it is because of the western influence. Our puranas talk of Arjun becoming Brihandala and how she was treated. Shikhandi also was a third gender. I don't know how Indian society deteriorated so badly. So, through my show, I want to tell people to treat us like humans. I also will talk about all the issues concerning the suppressed people in society, not just the transgenders."

To know how a transgender like Rose became a highly qualified, confident woman, we have to go back a little.
Also read: From sex workers to beauticians

© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer | Feedback