India Forced Marriages LGBT Community Nazariya: [refinery29.com] The 19-year-old California teen thought he was going to see his sick grandmother.
What he didn’t know was that his parents were relocating them to India permanently so that Bhatt, who is transgender, could learn to behave like a “cultured Indian girl.”
“It was supposed to be a two-week trip. I even saw the return ticket,” Bhatt told Refinery29. “Midway [through], I learned from my mother that I wasn’t coming back because I needed to be in India to get ‘fixed.’”
As soon as Bhatt reached Delhi, his parents took away his legal documents and confiscated his cell phone and computer, he said. Bhatt, who prefers to be called Shivy, was born female but identifies as male.
“My parents thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t living my life the way they wanted. I didn’t fit the mold,” Bhatt explained. “They told me that I would eventually get an arranged marriage to a man.”
Bhatt said his parents enrolled him at a local college in August, even though he was supposed to return home to study neurobiology at the University of California, Davis. With no access to the internet or phone at home, Bhatt felt trapped.
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