Shivin Ganesan, the first transwoman to be announced as top 3 finalists in Bigg Boss Tamil history, was the second runner-up as the reality show’s sixth season concluded on Sunday. Though Shivin may not have won the title this season, she has won viewers’ hearts.
“Thank you, Shivin, for allowing us to introduce a wonderful woman like you to this world. Your victory is your community’s victory; you are our pride,” said Bigg Boss as Shivin and the other finalists bid adieu to the house.
So, who is Shivin Ganesan, and how did she, a commoner, win the hearts of people?
Shivin Ganesan Transwoman Finalist Bigg Boss Tamil S6
Shivin Ganesan is undeniably a pride of the queer community. Shivin was born and raised in Devakottai, a village in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu. After recognising her true identity, she completely accepted herself and never pressured herself to change for her family or society. “Gender is subjective. It depends on how a person identifies themselves. I know who I am, and I don’t need society’s approval of my identity,” said Shivin.
At the age of 19, she learned about gender reassignment surgery. Afraid of society’s judgement, criticism, and stigma, Shivin’s mother enrolled her in mechanical engineering in hopes of helping her overcome this phase. Shivin spoke about the abuse she experienced at home as a result of her gender. She said, “I was locked up in a room, and my family never let me out. They used to serve me food through a small gap in the door. I wasn’t even allowed to meet anyone in my own home. They even hit me on several occasions.” However, Shivin, being the strong-willed and confident person that she is, remained undeterred.
Realising that her efforts were futile, her mother sent Shivin to Singapore to pursue a career in IT. Her mother believed Shivin would be able to lead a good life abroad as foreign countries are more inclusive. However, a little more than a year later, Shivin decided to return to India because she felt her gender was the only thing that kept her away from home. She believed that future generations would face the same problem, and decided to be the change. Ready to face the challenges, she returned to India in 2018 and got a job in the IT industry. She revealed that her return to India upset her mother, and they are now no longer on speaking terms. She expressed her grief about how society’s unacceptance of the trans community has separated her from her mother.
She said that she wanted to establish that a person’s gender is only relevant to their partner and not the concern of the rest of society. She went on to say that she doesn’t see the point in protesting as long as trans people have equal access to education and employment and can live peaceful and dignified life.
She viewed the opportunity to participate in Bigg Boss as a huge responsibility on her shoulder, as she was not just representing herself but her entire community. She wants to establish that if one accepts themselves for who they are, they’ll become unstoppable. She believes that it is her unshakable confidence that has brought her here. She hopes that by seeing her, society will understand that transpeople can also be educated, get employed, be financially independent, and live a dignified life. She aims to give trans teens and their parents’ confidence that they can live a normal life in society with education and financial stability.
She mentioned that she had been interested in dance and acting since childhood. She shared her grief about how the film industry casts male actors to play trans characters rather than trans actors themselves. She believes that if the film industry did that, it would open doors for many trans people who aspire to become actors. She aspires to establish herself as an actor and model. She also believes that her participation in Bigg Boss will encourage society to shatter the stigma and be more inclusive.
Apart from being an IT professional, actor, and model, Shivin is also working as an honorary teacher and career guidance mentor to students belonging to underprivileged communities in public schools. She also participated in Miss Trans Star International 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. Namitha Marimuthu, the first-ever transgender contestant of Bigg Boss Tamil was her personal coach and mentor. Shivin is also a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA community.
Suggested Reading: Queer Publishing House Gets Its First Stall At Chennai Book Fair
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.