Calling it India’s first online magazine about trans persons, Priyababu, Managing Trustee, said that the publication has become a huge hit with readers.

Cover of Trans News an online magazine published in Madurai
Features Gender Friday, December 11, 2020 - 19:52

The Transgender Resource Centre based at Viswanathapuram in Madurai has launched an online magazine for transgender persons – Trans News. Calling it India’s first online magazine about trans persons, Priyababu, Managing Trustee, said that the publication has become a huge hit with readers.  

"Trans News is a commercial portal with content ranging from fashion tips for trans women to recipes, articles, stories and poems. Three issues of the bi-lingual (Tamil and English) fortnightly have come out. It has received good response from the readers," Priyababu told TNM. The portal was launched on November 1, Author's Day.

All the models featuring in the magazine are transgender persons. "We've also employed three transgender reporters. Besides, students and women who are not transgender have also come forward to contribute photographs and materials for the magazine," Priyababu said.

The magazine provides a platform for selling products manufactured by transgender community through the 'Shop' section as well. It also has a 'Jobs' section will help trans persons find out about job vacancies available for them, Priyababu added.

Most of the articles for the magazine are written by Priyababu and Samuel Sundar in Tamil. They were subsequently translated into English by a Professor Mahalakshmi Raghavan. The 27-year-old English professo, who is also the managing editor of Trans News, said that the response for the magazine has been 'astonishing.' 

Mahalakshmi is confident that the articles published in the portal would change the misconceptions people have about the trans community. "Usually, people think that this is a concept imported from the western culture. But this is ingrained in Indian culture. Not only that, some animals also display transgender behaviour such as certain reptiles," she said.

Since the articles are also available in English, the reach of the magazine has been momentous, Mahalakshmi added.

Shalini, an assistant editor at the portal, said that since they were able to collect and disseminate lesser-known information about the community to the readers, many are now hooked to the magazine.

The three reporters – Jeeva Rangaraj, Viji and Nila – are contributing content ranging from beauty tips to “all about home.”

Significantly, the magazine features stories on transgender achievers too.

So far 13 transgender models, including a trans man, have appeared in the magazine. "We've our own photographers," Priya Babu said. "We expect to launch the Hindi version of the magazine in March, next year," the editor noted.

Last year, the Transgender Resource Centre launched a library which works actively in collaboration with colleges and educational institutions in encouraging and aiding PhD and M Phil students choose topics related to the trans community for their research. 

The library has about 170 books exclusively on transgender issues, besides paper clippings, right from 1999, court orders, short films and documentaries.

The centre also organised a Transgender Film Festival.

The magazine can be accessed at en.transnews.in (English) and transnews.in (Tamil).

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