#Interviews

Everyone Called Me Chakka, Tista and Dipon A Married Transgender Couple’s Story

Tista and Dipon
Tista and Dipon are Kolkata’s First couple to be in a Transgender Marriage. Both of them underwent sex reassignment surgery and tied the knot in 2019 against all odds.

I was born as a girl in the body of a boy. At school, I liked sitting with girls but wasn’t allowed to since outwardly I was a boy. In class 4, I realised I was biologically different from my girl friends. I could not identify with anyone.

Two years later a friend introduced me to the concept of sex reassignment surgery (SRS). I began writing a diary noting down every dream I wanted to achieve, SRS being one of them. Unfortunately, my aunt found that diary. I was bullied and tortured at home. I developed insomnia, something I still suffer from.

I was in class 8 when a friend gave me the name Tista. She never pointed out the differences between us and even let me change into her clothes whenever I visited her.

In high school, I wore a churidaar to school. My class teacher punished me. Everyone called me “chakka” & “hijra.” My family was so ashamed of me that they told local goons to “fix me.” I was brutally assaulted, molested and paraded naked in my locality. I felt unsafe, threatened.

After my graduation, I left home. I stayed and worked with an NGO where I got recognition and a platform to express myself. Around this time, my family too began accepting me and I could finally afford surgery. By 2004, I transformed.

I wanted to help others like myself. So in 2006, I founded SRS Solutions in Kolkata to aid the LGBTQ+ community with medical, legal and social solutions. That is where I met Dipon years later.

A girl in a male body, Dipon too had faced similar distress and harassment from society. After graduation, he left home as I had. He moved from Assam to Kolkata where he hoped to undergo SRS.

We got to know each other in 2016 and soon began developing feelings for each other. At a dance event one night, he proposed to me, with a promise of lifelong love & friendship. We began living with each other and decided to get married.

For that, we even faced some pushback from the LGBTQ+ community. People ridiculed us yet again. But that did not stop us.

In Bengal’s first rainbow wedding, we tied the knot on August 5, 2019, breaking many stereotypes. On our big day, we waived off patriarchal traditions, like rituals of Kanyadaan and Kanakanjali. Today, we live as proud pet parents and are a complete family.

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