Transgender persons have to regularly put up with mockery, bullying and violence. While the Supreme Court has ordered that trans persons have the right to self-determine their gender, and has announced a range of protections for them back in 2014, society is far from accepting trans persons without question. To change this just a little bit, the Kerala government is planning a sports meet for transgender persons in the state.
The meet will be held at the Central stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on April 28.
Sanjayan Kumar, Director of Sports and Youth Affairs for Kerala, says the tournament includes 100m, 200m, 400m sprints, 4x100m relay, shot putt and long jump. â€śThe people from the community are actively participating in the tournament, and nearly 20 people from each district will be present,â€ť he says.
Transgender rights activist Sheetal says that the event is part of Keralaâ€™s transgender policy, which the community has been fighting to put in place for a long time. â€śOur social life is changing because of the policy. We are ready to openly talk about our gender, and not hide in the closet," she says.
â€śMany transgender persons including me are participating in this event,â€ť says Sheetal. â€śDistrict sports council will start training us for the same soon,â€ť she adds.
"The government has offered support to us, and we can now come out to the society easily and fearlessly," Sheetal says.