There’s nothing impossible if two people are truly in love with each other. The saying has been proven true by Arun Kumar and Sreeja of Tuticorin, who became the first man-transgender woman couple in Tamil Nadu to get their marriage registered. The journey, as described by Sreeja, was not at all easy, but what matters at the end is, that they did it. “I am very happy. I am planning to undergo a surgery so that I can give birth to a child.” an overjoyed Sreeja told Times of India.
Though the couple got married on 31 October last year, there marriage couldn’t be registered as there was no column for transgender in the legal form. At that point itself, their legal battle started. It was only on Monday, 20 May, that Sreeja’s relatives and Arun’s friends organised a surprise reception for the couple as they returned home after getting their marriage registered. Sreeja is a bit disappointed though, because Arun’s parents are yet to accept their marriage. “For them, only today we are legally married”, said a happy Sreeja, pointing towards her friends and relatives. More than 50 friends and relatives took part in the surprise reception.
Winning the legal battle
The couple met in November 2016, but the course of their love was not at all easy. This was a few months after Sreeja went through the transformation surgery. Right from the beginning, they had to face hurdles. It was only after advocate Rajendram supported them initially that they won the legal battle today, as Arun said. Arun also thanked their counsellor Krishnaveni, who fought their legal battle. Last but not the least; it was Justice G R Swaminathan who directed that they be allowed to register the marriage.
They won the legal battle on 22 April this year. However, Sreeja says that getting the marriage registered this Monday was something very special. Rejoicing over their win, Sreeja says, “This will be an example, that marriage between a man and a trans woman has to be legally registered and that they can happily live ever after like a normal couple.”, added Sreeja.
Sreeja says that the first battle started for ‘him’ when he was in the 10th class. What was difficult was convincing ‘his; mother who was a single parent, of ‘hiding’ identity. Interestingly, his mother and younger brother helped him undergo the transformation surgery. Sreeja and Arun met through a mutual friend and the first words uttered by him, as Sreeja tells, were, “You look beautiful”. This is how they fell in love. Though the couple was supported by Sreeja’s mother, Arun’s parents distanced themselves from the couple post marriage.
Looking forward to give birth
When they went for marriage, the priest arranged by HR & CE department refused to perform the marriage. Then a transgender who was serving as a priest recited mantras to perform the marriage. The couple now want to have a child. Though Arun doesn’t want Sreeja to go through the strain, Sreeja is fully determined to take this big step. “He would have had a child if he married a woman. I don’t want him to be deprived of this privilege.” says Sreeja.
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