PARSIPPANY — Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi, is one of the biggest festivals in India, is celebrated on Monday, August 3, across the country. It’s an occasion marking brotherly love between siblings. On the day of Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie ‘Rakhi’, a colorful band signifying love between siblings, on the wrist of their brother.
Heather Haque, 31, a transgender resident of Parsippany because of her emotional attachment with Mahat Jalan, an actor, and model, tied a Rakhi band on his wrist.
“Acceptability, love, and attachment are more important to me than what others of Hindu society might think,” says Mahat.
When Mahat came to the United States in January, he became friends with Heather. His approach towards life is different, and his perspectives are open-minded, unlike other Indian men who were often rude towards trans people. “I need respect, and Mahat has so far respected my thoughts. I’m glad to have such a brother in my life,” said Heather.