“I have only brought them pride”: A trans doctor’s journey in medicine

What does it mean to be a transgender person in medicine? A researcher in community medicine and a transgender woman, Aqsa Shaikh tells her story through this comix.
By and | Published on Aug 27, 2021

Trigger warnings: Mentions of transphobia and visuals of islamophobic violence

It’s vital to realise that the narrative of gender-based discrimination in science, technology, engineering, medicine and allied disciplines has been limited to cis-women in science. This post is part of a series of posts (we call this the ‘transgender persons in science mini-series’) that hopes to dismantle the invisibilisation that transgender persons in science go through. This mini-series started last year as a part of season 5 of TheLifeofScience.com

The fourth piece in the series (and the third comix) features Aqsa Shaikh, a muslim transgender woman, and a community-medicine researcher and professor. The conversation between Aqsa Shaikh and TheLifeofScience.com’s Sayantan Datta is brought to life by Rox’ illustrations.

Further reading:

  1. A talk given by Aqsa on her life: “आज मैं बधाई देने नहीं आई हूं” | Story Of A Transgender | Dr. Aqsa Shaikh | Josh Talks Hindi
  2. Introductory reading on Community Medicine and its importance in India: https://www.ijmedph.org/sites/default/files/IntJMedPublicHealth_2014_4_1_29_127119.pdf
  3. Wikipedia page on “Nothing about us, without us”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_About_Us_Without_Us

Note: A transcript of this comix is available here.

TheLifeofScience.com Season 6 is supported by contributors to our crowdfunding campaign, and also by a grant from the Thakur Family Foundation. Thakur Family Foundation has not exercised any editorial control over the contents of this reportage. The featured image for this piece has been illustrated by Rox.

About the author(s)
Sayantan Datta
Sayantan Datta

Sayantan (they/them) is a queer-trans science writer, journalist and communicator.


Rox (they/them) are a trans artist and a 3D generalist. Everything they make is about introspection and extrospection rubbing against but existing along each other. Their Instagram is @patterninterruption and their Twitter is @dumdumjuicy.

3 responses to "“I have only brought them pride”: A trans doctor’s journey in medicine"


    Highly inspired and moved.
    I work under Dr Aqsa.
    Ever since i have joined HIMSR, i am continuously reading about ma’am.
    As i am getting to know more about her, i am falling in love with my institution to have such a big personality.

    Thank you Sayantan Datta and Rox for putting this inspiring story in front of us and making all of us proud.

    Saransh says:

    Soo proud …. I m transman n also learning acupressure…. hope to be a healer soon

    Excellent sharing of Aqsa’s story.


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