Thiruvananthapuram: With popular Bollywood numbers glaring in the air, an ecstatic crowd begins cheering for the bride and groom, who join-in the post wedding dancing with great enthusiasm. This is no ordinary wedding. The transgender persons community in Kerala has claimed this to be the first legally registered wedding of a trans couple, who have done sex affirmation surgeries, in the state.
"We are now officially a couple - husband and wife and we will show the world that we can love and live a marriage too," Surya says, looking beautiful as a bride.
"I never wanted to hurt my parents. And that's why my journey from Sabina to Irfaan, has been long and tough. I wanted it with the support and blessings of my parents. Especially my mother. And the fact that my father, mother and sister are present for my wedding, makes me very happy," Ishan tells NDTV, stealing a smile with his wife in between. For Ishan, it was his sister and brother-in-law, who helped him to come out.
As the couple make their way for their lunch, a traditional Kerala sadya, served on banana leaves, around them are their family members - biological, as well as from the transgender community.
"My mother couldn't be here. But she is supporting me in my marriage to Irfaan. She came and blessed us last night. But I have with me Renju Renjiamma, the person who has truly taken care of me as a mother would," Surya says. Renju Renjiamma is a celebrity makeup artist working in the south Indian film industry.
"This is a historic moment for the community of transgender persons - because there is no law on issues like marriage, adoption or atrocities against them in such situations. This marriage has been registered at the sub registrar's office under the Special Marriage Act," Advocate Maya Krishnan told NDTV.
But amidst the joy, the sadness is evident.
"We are the mother and father, so we of course will support our son. She was born a daughter, but now is our son. But that's not how our relatives see this. It does get very tough. We also expect to be supported by our local mosque authorities to recognise this marriage in our community," Ishan's mother Shanipa says.