When The Body Becomes A Prison!!!

“Loving yourself is the greatest revolution”. And this revolution helped to change the life of this Indian Trans woman who was imprisoned in a male body as a kid.

This Indian Trans woman did her Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Chemical Engineering from NIT, Jaipur. She then joined Infosys Technologies as a software engineer for two years. After this, she decided to pursue two of her biggest dreams. She moved to Mumbai in the year 2005 to do one-year diploma in filmmaking and wanted to work in movies as a screenwriter. Today, she writes films for some remarkable people namely Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Govind Nihalani, Prakash Jha and Tanuja Chandra. She is Miss Gazal Dhaliwal. She thought filmmaking to be a sedative to her pain that she could never completely learn to live with. Her documentary film “To be…ME” turned out to be the best film of the year in which she proposed “Tran sexuality” as a theme.

Soon after Gazal turned 13, her preferred companions were girls, not boys; her long hair was fine when it was in plaits, not inside a turban. Gazal, known as Gunraj till the age of 25 years, was born with Gender Dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria (gender distress) in the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex. It is also called as Gender Identity Disorder (GID).             In this case, the assigned sex or gender doesn’t match the person’s gender identity. Gazal’s body heard everything her mind said to her. And she always knew that she was a girl who was born in a male body. She talked about this at the age of 14 with her parents. She didn’t have a name for her condition but was glad to be open and honest with her parents early in that age. Her parents somehow could not comprehend how a boy could feel like a girl, but they never gave up on her daughter. Her parents and the whole family stood by her when she teetered at the edge of a rugged cliff of “identity”.

Gazal Dhaliwal at the age of 12.

 Changing her career was not the only life-changing decision she made in the past decade. “So, when are you going for it?” was the first question her father asked after watching her documentary film. And ever since that question, there was no looking back for her in life. She underwent Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). The period of transformation was not convenient either socially, physically or emotionally. But, she was fortunate to have the support of her family as well as the staff at her office. On October 19, 2007, her male genitals were replaced by female genitalia through vaginoplasty. The surgeon’s certificate now identifies her as an “infertile female”.

Gazal Dhaliwal, as she looks now after Sex Reassignment Surgery.

Miss Gazal remains a role model for many as she didn’t choose to “fit in” the place where she didn’t belong to. She broke the imprisonment of identity along with gender dysphoria and did something to be recognized as a respected person for her endeavors. She remains an inspiration to many gender dysphoric people who somehow hesitate to talk about it on social grounds because of the taboos our society has created. These people have been kept silent because of the social taboos and threats. But Gazal broke that prison early in her life with the massive support from her parents and family. So, like her parents, others can make their children’s eyes open with examples like her.


I am a passionate reader and loves to write articles and short stories. I am currently pursuing my B.Tech in Electrical Engineering. I want to become a filmmaker and to write film scripts in future. I am also inclined towards social work and want to contribute my share towards the betterment of society.



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