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It is for the first time ever, when a transgender woman has been appointed as a nurse in India. It was on Monday when the Tamil Nadu got its first transgender nurse from the Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Department. Anbu Ruby, the nurse has received an appointment letter from Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and C. Vijayabaskar, the Health Minister of the state. The State Health Department gave many other candidates their appointment letters in a function.
Anbu Ruby comes from Servaikaranmadam, a small village in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. It was in the year 2016, she completed her BSC nursing from the Sardar Raja Nursing college. She then later appeared in the Medical Recruitment Board through which she was recruited. She will be now working at a Primary Health Centre in Tiruchy.
Feeling delighted after becoming the nurse, Anbu Ruby said, "I'm really happy about this. I have become the first trans gender woman to be appointed as a nurse. I express my deep gratitude to the chief minister and the health minister." She also spoke about how she wants to work for people and give her best. She is also determined to set an example for the LGBTQ community. "I wanted to understand the medical issues faced by our trans gender community in a better way and also serve the poor, so I chose to nurse."
She also talked about the difficulties she faced in receiving her education and after her father's death. "When I was in the final year of Nursing, my father passed away. From then my mother supported my education. After nursing, I pursued an MBA in Hospital Management. My mother is a farmer, working in banana cultivation. She is very happy that I got the job purely based on merit," she added.
She has expressed her desire of working in her native district as she wants to take care of her mother who has gone through so many difficulties. She says that she has been assured about having her job regularised after two years.
Vijayabaskar said to ANI, "First time in the history of the Health and Welfare Department, we have recruited a trans gender nurse. It is a very proud moment for the state." It is not that Ruby didn't face any discrimination from society. She did face so much but never gave up. "I underwent sex reassignment surgery this year. But, during the first year of college itself, I understood my sexual orientation. My professors, friends at the college accepted me, but a few bullied me." She feels blessed to have a supportive family who supported and accepted her sexual orientation, "Unlike many other parents, my parents were very supportive and accepted me as what I am."
While talking about her recruitment with the press, she said, "I registered as a male in the Tamil Nadu Nurses and Midwives Council. But, now I changed my name and gender in the government gazette after the surgery. The Health Department gave me the appointment order as a 'transgender woman' appointed as a staff nurse." "While applying for a job in the Medical Recruitment Board I selected the 'female' option as there was no separate column for trans gender. I got my job purely based on merit," she mentioned while talking to the press.
It was in the year 2018 when the Supreme Court Of India decriminalised Section 377. The law considered sexual acts "against the order of nature" an illegal thing. This also included physical intercourse between same-sex adults. It is perhaps due to this law that people from the LGBTQ+ community often faced the harsh behaviour of society. They were stopped from enjoying basic human rights. Many times, they were assaulted and humiliated by the people around them. However, the decriminalisation has paved the path for those who are from the LGBTQ+ community.
We wish all the best to Anbu Ruby and hope to see her living her dream.