Updated: September 29, 2019 12:54:26 pm
Accusing her family of harassment, a transgender woman has approached the Coimbatore District Collector and Police Commissioner seeking protection.
In her complaint, Seemakshi, 36, said her family was forcing her to convert back to the male gender. Born as Satheesh Kumar, she underwent a sex-change operation while working in Singapore in 2011.
Two years later, Seemakshi married Dhirendra Kumar and moved to Dehradun. Speaking to indianexpress.com, she said, “Dhirendra Kumar was my spiritual guru, I admired him. We got married in a temple, since my parents had destroyed all the certificates as Satheesh Kumar, my husband arranged for my voter ID, ration card, etc. I returned to Singapore, resigned from my job and came back to India. When I informed my parents about my marriage, they asked me not to visit their home anymore. Three years later my husband died of a heart attack.”
Seemakshi returned to her hometown in 2016 but her family told her to stay away from Coimbatore since accepting her ‘as a woman’ will be an embarrassment to them.
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Fearing her family, she moved to Chennai and started pursuing a course in Madras Theological Seminary & College. “Even without a UG certificate, the college admitted me because of my talent and experience. It’s was a five-year course and I intended to do social service and nothing else, I believed all Gods are the same. I wrote a letter to my parents stating that I have moved to Chennai. I gave them my number and said I wish to speak to them hoping my parents would have changed,” she said.
“They sent me some money for my course fee in the first year but slowly they started exhibiting their intolerance. They said I cannot read scriptures from other religion. They promised me if I quit my course, they will give me my share of the ancestral property. I had no money even to pay my fees and fulfil even my daily needs, so with no other choice, I quit my course and went back to my house in Devakottai at Sivaganga district,” Seemakshi said.
In Devakottai, she claimed, her relatives abused her, attacked and ill-treated her to an extent where they chopped off her hair, tore her dresses and told her to behave like “a man”. “They told me to grow a moustache, walk like a man and change my voice. They hit on my stomach repeatedly,” she said.
Seemakshi had registered a complaint to Karaikudi Magistrate. A few members of the transgender community from that area had taken her to a rescue home. “I was ill-treated in that house. There were a few men in that rescue home who claimed to be transgenders but were involved in anti-social activities. I was scared, I ran away from that place and complained to Sakkotai Police station, but the cops batted for them and said I was making a false claim. I accept not all transgenders are suspect, but there are few men who act like transgenders to carry out their illegal work,” Seemakshi added.
In her complaint, she mentioned that she went back to Coimbatore a few months ago to stake claim to her share of the ancestral property, but her father, mother, and her sibling attacked her. “It was during my brother’s marriage; I had become the center of all abuses. I was attacked again and locked up in a room. I suffered internal injuries and underwent treatment for a week at a private hospital in Singanallur,” she said.
She said she faces a threat to her life as her family keeps attacking her, often forcing her to behave like a man. “I keep shifting places fearing my family. My father is influential and I have now approached Coimbatore District Collector and Commissioner Office to take action against them,” she said.
Seemakshi said everyone has the right to live the life they wish and gender shouldn’t be an obstacle to it. “Society is accepting us, but our own family is treating us badly. We are scared to reveal our gender in society. They need to change their mindset, we are also human beings and we deserve respect,” she added.
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