“When I was backstage, I was very nervous. I was trembling. I thought people would throw sandals, tomatoes and stones at me. Then, the host announced my name. I went upstairs and walked towards the wall, without greeting them. The spotlight hit me. And then they were playing songs … I forgot everything else and just focused on the song. I couldn’t see anyone. In the end, all the people I heard were asking for more. “
She remembers Mari for the first time Coming out as a transgender woman In the Miss Tibet pageant Hospice In 2015. She says it was one of the busiest concerts McLeod rust. Born of a man, she went from being a Buddhist monk to becoming a dancer and makeup artist.
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Although Mariko stands out as an influential and celebrity in her own right, her story seems to be an exception.
To date, there have been very few Tibetans in India who have publicly identified themselves Strange– Already a minority within a minority community.
Dolma (name change in purpose), a 24-year-old Tibetan, came out in 2020 with only four of her friends; There was no Tibetan. “Coming out wasn’t so glamorous or festive, especially when you’re in a community that doesn’t talk about it,” she says.
Ever since she went to school in Rampur, Shimla, she had looked at girls differently than her peers. “I can never say it out loud, but I’ve never seen women in the sense that ‘their hair is bad’, but how they carry themselves and how they are around people. Women’s sexuality.”
In Rampur, living with her family and uncle, whom she called “ridiculous and ridiculous bizarre people”, she never questioned her sexuality. He never felt that his way of looking at other women affected his sexual preferences.
With the exception of a few Indian friends, he does not plan to go out with his family or anyone else Tibetan community.
Meanwhile, Mariko, who has more than 30,000 followers on Instagram, says, “Society has changed over the years, now they come to me and say. HelloHer current popularity differs from her childhood experience at Suja, a Tibetan children’s village school. Threat She was the only boy in the circle of friends of all the girls.
“They used slurs, and I don’t want to repeat them. Even thinking that makes my blood boil, ‘she says. “The teachers were rude, they never supported me. Whenever they were bored, they would send me on stage and make me dance for no reason.”
At her recent dinner party with 30-40 people at the table, she says, “An educated man came up to me and said, ‘Do you have boobs?'”
But while walking on Bhagsu Road in Dharamsala, he lit cigarettes and waved to the people greeting him. These examples are from the past. Even on social media, she says, she no longer receives any negative comments.
Back in 2016, another Tibetan came out gay on her YouTube channel on her 24th birthday. “I will not only curse God for making me like this, but also for putting me in such a society LGBT Never talked about But look at me, I will break the boundaries for you, ”reads his video description. But, it’s been a year, and he’s not found anywhere on any of the social media platforms, including the YouTube channel where he uploaded the video.
When it comes to going out in the Tibetan community, Dolma says it’s different from coming out in the Indian community. “For the old Tibetan people, Not even thinking of going out. The younger generation, I am not generalizing, but they are more focused on turmoil, ”she says. Although they look modern and present themselves as ‘queryness’, Dolma says, “they don’t want to read the pronouns used around them. And why it is important to use pronouns with other people.”
Some New Age Tibetans are still trying to change this attitude. The Tibetan Equality Project (TEP) is an example. TEP is a platform specifically designed for the Tibetan queer community, which includes queer Tibetan “partners” from around the world. A project launched in New York City, TEP invites queer Tibetans to participate in virtual meetings that are open to queer Tibetans anywhere in the world.
TEP recently rallied on June 5, at the Queen’s Pride Parade in New York City. Mingyur Paldran, a transgender Tibetan scholar, was part of the march and has recently become a regular contributor. Paldran, 37, was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 1989, one of the first Tibetans living in the United States at the time. She holds a PhD in rhetoric from UC Berkeley, focusing on gender, women and sexuality.
“While activism is wonderful, it’s not a word I often use for myself. I think of myself as a person and sometimes as a teacher,” says Paldron. On the day of Pride March, he posted a sign on his Instagram saying ‘Tibetan Trans and Proud’.
Paldron teaches and speaks to college students about gender identity, and conducts workshops. His recent works include ‘Health and Social Change: An LGBT + Case Study’, an analytical workshop for Machik Weekend. He helped direct, create, write, edit and raise funds for The Hearts Secret – the first Tibetan LGBTQ + running image work.
On Tibetan realities, bizarre and otherwise, he says, “I think there is a tendency in any society for an influential culture to emerge and force people to believe certain things about themselves and others.” He added that many of us would no longer question these beliefs, if ever. “It can lead to suffering – it is our own suffering. I think activism is about seeing the suffering in society and addressing its roots.”
According to the research paper ‘Tibetan notion of LGBTQBy Lauren Champagne, “is the focus of many Tibetan organizations in exile Human rights abuses in Tibet. Very little attention has been paid to social inequality and injustice in exiled communities. Rhetoric among Tibetans mainly revolves around Tibetan identity, ignoring other aspects such as age, sexual orientation and ability.
Champagne says she can no longer speak on the subject because the paper is too old. Paldron agrees that discourse within the Tibetan community is overshadowed by political identities, leaving little room for other identities, including gender. Calling it “very detrimental to our political goals”, he says political empowerment and new political possibilities come when individuals feel full and empowered.
But, Dolma’s point of view is different. Based on her personal experience, she says what is at the heart of the Tibetan discourse, in which she understands her diverse community, is “settlement.” “Tibetan communities live together and at the end of the day, they only hear what is happening to other Tibetan families. That way, you are not open to other ideas and perspectives on life,” she says.
Paldran agrees that this level of interconnection outside Tibet is not only unique but also profound. However, he says, “from my point of view, this means the possibilities are very tangible – both amazing possibilities and disadvantages.”
On the positive side, this level of interrelationship provides an opportunity to be aware at the same time. “It keeps conversions within reach,” he says.
Geshe Lobsang Dakpa, a Buddhist monk and religious teacher at the Dalai Lama’s temple in McLeod Ganj, identified Mariko as a monk. “When I first saw her after her infection, I wasn’t as shocked as I thought,” she says. She described the moment as “she chose it and she looks happy”. He calls her “a good friend.”
“There is no gender in Tibetan Buddhism, except for the biological differences on the basis of which monks and nuns are different. The focus is on the person and what they are as a person,” says the elderly monk.
So, despite the queerphobia within the community, there are individuals who are willing to accept new perspectives on gender identity and sexual preferences. To quote His Holiness the Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama From her 2014 interview with Larry King, “Same-sex marriage is a personal business. If two people are happy and both are more satisfied with each other, fine.
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