Gazal Dhaliwal was born a boy. This is her when she was 12.
It was around this time when she tried to commit suicide.
She couldn’t because she could never find the means. Even though she was born in a perfectly healthy male body, she knew she was not a boy.
She always knew she was a girl.
In her late teens, Gazal realised that her condition was a medical condition called Gender Dysphoria.
Gender Dysphoria is a formal diagnosis in cases where the patient is significantly discontent from his/her gender. While in some cases, this may be purely because of psychological and behavioural reasons, research has found that biology and genes are significant contributors in almost all cases of gender dysphoria.
It is estimated that around 0.3% people in the world are gender dysphoric – that is over 2 crore people around the world.
In India, the people of the Hijra community are the best example of people suffering from gender dysphoria.
Most hijras suffer from gender dysphoria. Often looked down by the society, as well as by their families and relatives, it is estimated that there are over 5 lakh hijras in the country. Have we ever considered their plight?
In 2007, Gazal underwent a sex change surgery.
Gazal made a documentary about her struggles and about gender dysphoria, following which her parents offered their support in her decision to undergo a sex-change operation. While her parents had always been supportive of her problem, the documentary, as Gazal says, helped her parents travel the last mile.
Today, Gazal is a storywriter for Bollywood, and she wishes to write stories that would help gender-dysphoric kids and adults.
She says because she can now be who she really is, she doesn’t make people around her uncomfortable any more. As someone who believes in the power of stories, Gazal hopes to write stories about gender dysphoria and gender dysphoric people that would help thousands of suffering people, as well as the society to come to terms with this medical disorder.
It would be an understatement to say you are an inspiration, Gazal! More power to you!
Here’s a heartfelt talk Gazal recently delivered. Watch: