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Transgender rights in India still have a long way to go, but read on about a positive judgement by the Madras high court.
“Transgender discrimination is the civil rights issue of our time.” – Joe Biden
It is a well-known fact that LGBT+ people (in India as well as worldwide) face various social and legal difficulties. In India, the Transgender Persons Bill was passed in the year 2016 which aimed at bringing social and economic empowerment to the community.
While history reveals that transgender people have faced bias and difficulties everywhere, a recent ruling by the Madras High Court offers some hope for change. The Madras High Court ruled in favour of a man who made a plea to change his gender in school and college records.
K Gowtham Subramaniam who identifies as a man, and was previously known as Rekha raised a petition to change his gender from female to male in the school records. He needed to appeal to the High Court since the authorities were not considering his requests to make the necessary changes in the school and college records.
Gowtham who is a software engineer, had undergone a sex reassignment surgery from female to male after consulting a surgeon. After undergoing the necessary procedures he was issued a certificate which stated that he had undergone Sexual Reassignment Surgery.
Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana passed the petition and allowed for the necessary changes to be made in his documents. As quoted in the link above, she said, “Merely because the petitioner belongs to the third gender, he or she cannot be made to run from pillar to post on the ground that there are no rules available permitting such changes.”
She ordered authorities to make the changes in 8 weeks. It is a definitely a moment to be remembered as a female chief justice took a step towards a much-needed change and a boost for transgender rights in India.