In a country which denies equal rights to the LGBTQ community, the struggle of people with Gender Identity Disorder becomes even worse. The person going through a conflict with his own body is already suffering from a great emotional turmoil and the society, by ostracizing and condemning them, makes life even more difficult for them.
There are so many people who identify as a transgender but there’s only a small fraction of them who get to live a normal life. The story of Aarav and Sukanyeah, born as a girl and a boy respectively, is no less than a heartwarming tale of the victory of love.
46-year-old Aarav Appukuttan was born as Bindu but always felt uncomfortable in his own body. At 13, he had long hair and preferred sitting with girls at school. But he always felt uncomfortable by his attraction towards girls. When he told this to his mother, she took him to a doctor who said hormonal imbalance during puberty causes such things to happen. He also advised him to wait for sometime before going for a gender-reassignment surgery.
Aarav’s gender identity disorder was getting worse and after his mother died, it became even more difficult for him to deal with it all by himself. His father remarried and Aarav felt responsible for taking care of his siblings, and for years, he kept sabotaging his real identity.
I used to hate my body and wanted to cut it sometimes. But, I had to restrain myself and keep my feelings in check for 45 years. I always behaved like everything was normal.
It was after he went to Dubai for work and collected enough money that he decided to undergo a gender-reassignment surgery in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
Sukanyeah’s struggle with her gender identity also began when she hit teenage. Other kids mocked the way she talked and walked. When her family consulted a doctor, he gave her hormonal injections which further complicated the issue.
With the therapy, my facial and body structure changed. I started developing muscles, my shoulders became broader and I lost a lot of hair on my head.
After dropping out of school, Sukanyeah started doing web designing. While working in Bangalore as a web designer, she saved money for her gender-reassignment surgery.
Both Aarav and Sukanyeah got an appointment in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and that’s where they met each other. Their love story started 3 years ago with a casual conversation in the hospital, afte which they began talking on a regular basis and eventually decided to get married.
Their struggle with Gender Identity Disorder makes them even more sensitive towards people who’re going through a similar phase and both Aarav and Sukanyeah wish to help parents of the kids who identify as transgenders.
After tying the knot, the couple plans to settle in Kottayam, Kerala, which is Aarav’s native place. They also plan to adopt a child.