“The year 2006 is probably the most memorable one in my life. After being shunned for being different and called the most derogatory names in the world. It was then that late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi became a demigod to our community by honouring us with the title “Tirunangai.” That might seem just like a change of name to many, but it is more than that. It made it possible for numerous people in our community to start a new life!
I was born and raised in a small hamlet in Coimbatore in a family of farmers. My parents weren’t educated, and it was difficult for them to comprehend why I was “different.” I used to be with the womenfolk all the time, carry a pot on my hip, and hang out with the women over men. I finished my B.Com struggling to come to terms with how I was different and helping my parents embrace my identity.
Eventually, I had to leave home to join the transgender community, and since then, I have done a lot of odd jobs. I was cooking in a police station for close to a year and then had the opportunity to pursue my Masters in catering technology. Since then, I have been catering for small events and run a small business from home.
However, the real satisfaction comes from what I was able to do for my fellow transgender people over the years. From helping them get a loan to set up a small scale business to partnering with NGOs to get them started with their business, I’ve been doing my bit. During the past 100 days of Corona lockdown, I have been donating groceries and provisions to a few families. All of this, makes me happy.
However, all is not rosy. My parents died with a burdened heart that I never got married and embraced a life they couldn’t understand. The guilt that I wasn’t around them when they took their last breath, will continue to haunt me forever!”
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