Transphobia in ‘transgender friendly’ Kerala society has reached alarming levels. In the latest incident, a man harassed a group of trans women in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, and when they called their friends to help them out, he went on to attack them, and molested one of the activists who came to help.
Activist and member of the Transgender Justice Board, Surya Abhilash, and another activist, Sreemayi, had come to the rescue of three of their friends who were waylaid and harassed by a man, identified as Pushparaj, near GV Raja Sports School in Aruvikkara.
Speaking to TNM, Surya said, “Three of our friends, Alakananda, Vineetha and Karthika, were on their way to the housewarming ceremony of our friend and make-up artist Shivangi. They had stopped to ask directions to this man, after which he had waylaid them by snatching their keys and helmets away. Unable to leave the place, they called us for help.”
When Surya and Sreemayi reached the spot and intervened, Pushparaj tried to hit both of them, and verbally abused them. He then went on to molest Surya.
“He hit me on my chest, tried to lift my clothes and even pushed me. When onlookers asked him to give the keys back, he justified his action saying we are transgender women, and said ‘they put things in their mouth’ (insinuating that they were sex workers.) He even abused my parents in the filthiest manner possible,” Surya said.
Without further delay, Surya immediately called the cops who came and arrested the man.
“He attacked us because we are trans women. I have registered two complaints against Pushparaj with the Aruvikkara police – one for harassing our friends without any reason, and the other case for publicly assaulting and attempting to strip me,” Surya said.
The incident comes barely a week after a mob attacked and brutally beat up a trans woman in Valiyathura, Thiruvananthapuram, alleging that she disguised herself as a woman to kidnap children.