Zara Sheikha, a 27-year-old transgender woman is the first ever transgender person from Kerala to acquire a job in a multi-national company. On the occasion of Women’s day, Eastern Group Managing Director honored Zara Sheikha under the ‘Eastern Bhoomika Iconic Women of Your Life’ initiative. Zara has been working with Human Resource department of various companies in Chennai and Abu Dhabi after completing degree in Botany. She went through a lot of physical and emotional pain when many firms were not ready to accommodate her as a transgender. Her struggle ended up in UST Global, which accepted Zara as the way she was. And this truly adds to the list of progressive things we have been witnessing with respect to womanhood.
Zara has been staying away from her parents as they were not willing to accept her identity. Right from the age of 10, Zara knew she was different from other boys of her age. A true lover of classical dance, she has won the Kalapratibha title during her college days. There was a time when people around Zara ridiculed her for being an effeminate. Later, she was inspired by the untold stories of people who have similar personality traits and that helped Zara to understand that she is women trapped inside a man’s body.
When she was done pretending to be male, Zara shattered all those pre-conceived notions by revealing her actual identity. She is a source of strength to many others to accept their identity and to live as who they are. Her decisions were met with oppositions intermittently. A bold person, who decided to live her life completely as a transgender, is not willing to remember the bitter experiences of the past. An active member of Queerythm, a community based organization for LGBTIQ people, she aim for a society free of discrimination against gender and sexual minorities. She is part of many initiatives like employment forum, crisis management centers and counseling centers for marginalized communities.
Zara is happy to know that government started considering her community and believe that a focus on trans people is necessary because they still face a lot of challenges in society. She hopes that her job will be an example for other companies to accommodate transgender people. She suggests that transgender inclusion should be implemented as it caters to a whole range of sexual and gender minorities. The survival story of Zara Sheikha is an example on how an encouraging support system can bring a change in society. She dreams to have a peaceful life to all in her community. Zara will be working undoubtedly to champion the rights and freedom of gender minority groups in the society in her future days.