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This is why, in 2023, I founded Genderse.

Growing up in Agra, I witnessed same-sex relationships among girls in my convent school, but moving to Ludhiana made me realize the stigma surrounding such relationships. Finding out that Section 377 existed, in fact, burst the perfect bubble for me. I constantly faced backlash from all members of my family for identifying as male—their views led them to extreme measures like putting chili in my mouth (at the age of 5-6 years) to discourage my behavior.

I would always pray before I went to bed that when I woke up, I would be in a guy’s body.

Puberty and all that came with it brought me more discomfort. I hated going through menstruation and seeing my chest develop, and this led me to resort to self-harm measures because I was struggling with extreme gender dysphoria. There was no one I could talk to, no one to guide me, and my mental health kept getting worse.

In 2015, a severe accident forced me into introspection, leading to severe mental health struggles. Fearing conversion therapy due to Section 377, I was reluctant, but eventually, I took the step and sought help from a psychiatrist, who made me understand that everything I was feeling was valid. Despite the initial denial, I came out to my parents in 2016, facing much resistance and emotional turmoil. Over the years, I experienced rejection from my family, who stopped including me in family gatherings and used transphobic language against me. Their actions not only sabotaged my career prospects but also took a toll on my mental health and emotional well-being. I contemplated ending my life, feeling like a burden.

But that is when I realized that life is a car, and I need to have the steering in my own hands.

My own struggles with gender dysphoria and the lack of accessible and affordable resources for Indian trans men made it difficult not only for me but also for many others who were going through the same problems. Being from India, accessing binders from international brands also proved to be a challenge due to cost, shipping delays, and limited payment options. This lack of accessibility affects those who cannot even rely on their family for financial resources, let alone emotional support.

This is why, in 2023, I founded Genderse. It is my attempt to give back to the one community where I knew I belonged and wouldn't be turned away from—the binders we make are tailored to Indian trans men, transmasc, and nonbinary folks, keeping in mind affordability, accessibility, the climate, and safety. Through Genderse, I really hope I can bridge this gap and provide a solution that empowers transmasc, trans men, and nonbinary people to live safely, authentically, and comfortably.


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