January 18, 2024

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Express View on crossdressing for love: The lover’s test

2 min read

In 1746, an Englishman, Charles Hamilton, married Mary Price. Hamilton was born a woman and had been living as a man since the age of 14. Upon discovery, Hamilton was sentenced to hard labour and public whippings. British novelist Henry Fielding coined the term the “female husband” in a fictionalised and sensationalised account of the incident. There are numerous accounts of lesbian lovers (and transgender men, possibly like Hamilton) in literature who would don male attire and present themselves as men to be able to live with the one they loved. Shakespearean plays such as The Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice have both men and women cross-dressing for a variety of purposes.

He might not yet be immortalised in literature but the latest addition to this esteemed list of cross-dressers is one Angrez Singh. Hailing from Punjab’s Fazilka, Singh impersonated his girlfriend so he could take the multi-purpose health workers exam held by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences on her behalf. He walked into the examination hall in a salwar-kameez and was quickly caught and handed to the police. For the examination, Singh had even got a fake Aadhaar card, voter card and I card made in the name of Paramjeet Kaur (his girlfriend). Since the incident came to light on January 7, the internet has offered overwhelming support and admiration to Singh.  Comments like “This or nothing”, “Relationship goals”, “#Truelove” are all over the internet.

In a society that remains biased against cross-dressers and effeminate expressions in men, Angrez Singh is a refreshing deviant. To willingly put oneself on the wrong side of the law just to make sure that one’s girlfriend passes an exam is the epitome of loyalty, albeit a slightly warped idea of it. Singh may have failed to help Kaur pass her exam, but he passed the lover’s test with flying colours.

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