Kerala's trans couple ties knot legally

Kerala's trans couple ties knot legally

Ishaan and Surya at their wedding in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. DH photo

When 33-year-old trans man Ishaan K Shaan and 31-year-old trans woman Surya tied the knot in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, the celebrations came with trappings of a regular wedding.

But it was also hard to look past what was markedly unfamiliar about the event. Kerala’s first trans couple wedding has been a keenly followed event ever since Ishaan and Surya made their marriage plans public. Ishaan underwent his gender reassignment surgery in 2015; the bride underwent hers a year earlier.

Members of the LGBTQI community from different parts of the state turned up at the wedding – performed under the Special Marriages Act – and celebrated with a round of song and dance. The couple hoped their decision would inspire others. “There will be critics but we’ll show that it’s possible to lead a good life together,” Ishaan said. The wedding held at the Mannam Memorial National Club here was supported by the families of Ishaan, a businessman and transgender rights activist, and Surya, an LGBTQI rights activist and television personality.

The cheer around the wedding comes in as a happy distraction in a state which, despite having initiated a landmark Transgender Policy, continues to report attacks on members of the community. Prijith P K, president of LGBTQI organisation Queerythm, said the big takeaway from the wedding was its message that debunks many perceptions.

“It’s a model to follow. Ishaan and Surya have made a personal choice and they will show that it’s possible for them to be a family. Surya has been an LGBTQI rights activist for about 15 years and it helped that both the families backed the couple’s decision,” Prijith told DH.

Guests at the wedding included former Rajya Sabha MP T N Seema and Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V K Prasanth.