Two transgender people on Thursday became the first transsexual couple to marry in Kerala and register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, PTI reported. Ishan and Surya are both members of the government-appointed transgender justice board.
Besides family members and friends, the wedding in Thiruvananthapuram was attended by politicians, including former Rajya Sabha member TN Seema and IP Binu of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Thiruvananthapuram Mayor VP Prasanth, and state minister Kadakampally Surendran. Writer and activist J Devika and dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi also attended the wedding, along with several other activists.
“Some years ago, we couldn’t have imagined such a function in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram,” P Rani, a transgender activist hailing from Kerala, told the Hindustan Times. “Things are slowly changing and we have started getting some acceptance in the society. We hope this marriage will set the ball rolling.”
Surya, a well-known Malayalam TV artiste and activist, underwent sex change surgery in 2014. Ishan, who underwent surgery in 2015, met Surya while working at an NGO for the welfare of transgender people. “We want to lead a normal family life and be a role model to our fellow community members,” PTI quoted Ishan as saying.
There are over 35,000 transgender people in Kerala, the Hindustan Times reported, quoting figures from the transgender board. The state government unveiled the country’s first transgender policy in 2015.