Trans women want ‘trans-friendly’ Kerala to focus on basics: Healthcare, housing & jobs

More than seven years after Kerala created history as the first Indian state to unveil a transgender policy, why is a trans woman with a postgraduate degree and teacher training still forced to work as a sex worker?
Trans women protesting in front of a hospital
Trans women protesting in front of a hospital
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This article is the second in TNM’s ‘Access Denied’ series, which dives into the issues and needs of certain sections of society that are confined to the margins and denied access to the mainstream.

TW: Mention of suicide, violence

Ousted by her family for asserting her identity as a woman, Padma (name changed) was all of 18 when she realised ‘transgender friendly’ Kerala was not going to be kind to her. There were not many ways forward, the few trans women she knew at the time had advised her. No one would employ a trans woman, and she did not even have a degree. If she wanted to survive, let alone one day undergo the surgeries she hoped would finally allow her to be comfortable with her body, she had but two options — turn to sex work, or beg on the streets.

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