Praveen Nath, trans man Mr Kerala, dies by suicide

A native of Nenmara in Palakkad, Praveen was the advocacy coordinator of the Thrissur-based LGBTQIA+ organisation Sahayathrika.
Praveen Nath
Praveen Nath
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Praveen Nath, a trans man bodybuilder from Kerala, passed away on Thursday, May 4. He was under treatment at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital following an attempted suicide. Praveen, who had won gold in the state bodybuilding competition of 2021 in the transgender category, was awarded the title of Mr Kerala.

His death comes less than three months after his marriage to trans woman Rishana Aishu, who is a model and winner of the Miss Malabar beauty contest. The couple tied the knot on February 14, 2023. However, recent rumours about the couple’s separation had led to bullying and cyber attacks against Praveen.

A few days ago, Praveen had put up a Facebook post announcing his separation from Rishana. However, he deleted it an hour later. In a second post published on May 1, he said that the couple hasn't separated. “We live together. I put a post saying so and it was deleted within an hour. (I had to write that in a particular situation, it's very personal) I don't know what there is to celebrate. Do not spread the news that we have broken up, do let us live a good life,” he wrote, posing a question: “Have Malayalam news pages degraded so much?”

A native of Nenmara in Palakkad, Praveen was also the advocacy coordinator of the Thrissur-based LGBTQIA+ organisation Sahayathrika.

Praveen’s journey to the title of Mr Kerala involved several hurdles. Vinu Mohan, his trainer at the gym in Thrissur’s Ayyanthole, had to get the Body Building Association of Kerala to create a new category for transgender bodybuilders in the competition. Praveen’s win was received with jubilation by the trans community.

Speaking to Manorama Online on May 2, Praveen said that the post about separation was put up when he had an emotional breakdown. He said that media outlets publishing it as news using the screenshot of his deleted post had caused great distress to the couple. “The comments below the news stories were too much. It affected our mental health. I was on the verge of suicide due to many other reasons. On top of it, this news was unbearable. Everyone is happy to highlight problems within the trans community,” he said.

Praveen’s friends have alleged that the bullying that followed the speculations around the couple’s separation was the reason behind his death.

“This country has become a place where queer marriages, bickerings, breakups, and reunions have become interesting news,” Praveen’s friend Anaz NS wrote on Facebook. “The people who mocked you by dissecting your private life must be relieved now. Being bullied by queer and non-queer people alike, robbed you of your peace. You were a great inspiration to me. There is a lot of hard work behind the name ‘Trans man Bodybuilder’. I still can't believe it. This society is a toxic anti-queer one. We are sentenced here without reasons (sic),” Anaz wrote.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584


Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222


Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.


State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726

Click here for working helplines across India.

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