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No Fear No Favour

TISS takes gender inclusion to new heights; Builds hostel for transgender students

Taking a step forward to make transgender mix well in the mainstream masses, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has allotted a hostel for transgender and gender non-confirming students. The students of the college were informed through a notification on Thursday.

The hostels will be allotted on first-cum-first-serve basis, the notification reads. The ten twin-sharing rooms will be made available to the students for the academic year 2018-2019. Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. P K Shahjahan, said the move is to build a sense of inclusion in the campus. “We have been trying to achieve this for some time. The gender amity committee and student representatives have decided to create this space. This will be done on an experimental basis for one year, and we will take stock next year.”

Sai Tejo, an M.A. student, said the move was long overdue. “This is a product of several discussions and deliberations. There will be several more discussions as the hostel becomes operational.”

Christopher Nag, an M.Phil student and part of the TISS Queer Collective, was thrilled, but said a lot of work remained to be done. “When we first saw the notification we couldn’t believe it. We are waiting for clarity on the rules and regulations. We don’t want this to turn into another gendered space. Our struggle is for a gender-neutral space and not for a space for a third gender,” Nag said, preferring not to be identified with a gender-specific honorific.

In February, the institute added the honorific ‘Mx’ to the existing list of Mr., Ms., Mrs. and Dr. on forms that students had to fill out before their convocation.

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