“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.

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.

2 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

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