There are times when I feel like life is tough for me. And perhaps, as a woman, it really is. But even then, with liberal parents, good education and a decent standard of living, I figure that I have had it easier than too many people out there. And one of those many people who haven’t had anything easy in their life is Adam Harry, a certified commercial pilot who is currently working as a delivery agent.
why? Because Adam Harry identifies as transgender.
23-year-old Adam got a private pilot license (PPL) from a university in South Africa and beat all odds to get a commercial pilot license in 2019, under the Kerala Government’s welfare fund for transgender people.
He was the first trans trainee pilot in the country and one would think that things would only look up from that point.
But that’s not what transpired.
His dream to fly as a commercial pilot was soon squashed as DGCA denied him a medical certificate declaring him “temporarily unfit” for flying due to hormone therapy that he was taking for his ‘gender dysphoria’.
Gender dysphoria is described as a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity. In fact, the sense is so strong, that it often pushes people into depression and anxiety.
And what made it worse was the fact that for transpersons, this hormonal therapy goes for life. And considering he was forced to take the aviation test as a female (the gender he was assigned at birth) and not as a trans person, for the DGCA’s medical examination form did not include options for non-binary genders, it clipped his wings for becoming a commercial pilot right there.
Now, Adam, unable to fly a plane, works as a food delivery representative. However, he plans to write a petition in the High Court against DGCA for denying his medical certificate, but until then, his dreams of him like many other transgenders’ are squashed.
“What is the point of it if I don’t get a license to fly in the country? I have never flown a plane in India. But I am eligible to fly in the USA or South Africa, or the UK. But what is the point “Why are they discriminating against my fundamental right to get a job?” I have told The Fifth.
“I want the DGCA to stop comparing bodies. Bodies of cisgender people to that of trans persons. Instead, look at a person’s qualification. Don’t snatch away someone’s professional dream, because some other person is uncomfortable,” he added.