Trans Man From Tamil Nadu Asks For Gender-Neutral Parent Tag In Childs Passport

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Trans Man From Tamil Nadu Asks For Gender-Neutral 'Parent' Tag In Child's Passport

With advocates Arun Kasi and Pradeep Raja, Tarun filed a writ petition on December 13, asking for a gender-neutral term 'parent' to be added in his child's passport.

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Over the years, gender-neutral norms are becoming an integral part of one's identity, and they are being accepted by the world slowly and steadily. In light of this, a trans man from Tamil Nadu is fighting to cement his identity in a legally-binding document.

On December 13, he filed a petition to the Madras High Court, asking for the non-binary term 'parent' to be included in the Indian passports, instead of the gender-specific terms 'mother' and 'father'.

A Long-Drawn Battle

Tarun* was assigned female at birth, but it was difficult for him to conform. Feeling different initially, it was not easy for him to express himself in front of his family. "From the age of 2, I have always told my mother that I am their son. I came out to them a couple of times, but I was asked to shut out and to look up to my siblings, who have conformed to the assigned gender. Learn something from them," he shared with The Logical Indian.

Not only that, he was sexually abused as well. When Tarun spoke up about it to his mother, she dismissed them by calling them his 'imagination.' Understanding that his family would never accept his authentic self, he eventually stopped coming out to them. Succumbing to parental and societal pressure, Tarun got married at 26 and delivered two children.

Children's Immediate Acceptance

However, leading dual life became highly tedious to him. Tarun adds while speaking with The Logical Indian, "I came out to my then-spouse and children, and my entire family in 2018. My then-husband suggested visiting a psychologist since he was not well-versed with gender-related issues. Only after meeting the psychologist, I come to know about a term called Gender Dysphoria."

The life-changing decision got a heartwarming response from his children. "My younger daughter was extremely receptive, and she immediately called me 'Daddy.' The elder child needed a little more sensitisation. I showed her several YouTube videos, and my therapist also helped her," he continues his conversation.

Journey Of Embracing Self

The couple filed for mutual divorce in 2019 on the grounds of gender dysphoria. Within months, Tarun got his gender affirmation surgeries that made him feel comfortable in his skin after the tumultuous years.

Along with the surgeries came changing of legal documents as well. When the time came to renew his children's passport, he approached the Ministry of External Affairs, requesting them to include the term 'parent', along with the gender-specific terms.

The petition was filed on December 13, with advocates Arun Kasi and Pradeep Raja fighting the case on behalf of him at the Madras High Court. "This is the first time when we came across this case. When the petitioner narrated the case, it was new to us," advocate Arun Kasi told The Logical Indian. The team had to refer to similar precedents from other countries to argue.

When the case was heard on December 16, it took them 20 minutes to make the bench understand the situation. With the writ petition filed, Tarun and the lawyers hope for a favourable verdict that will set a precedent for transgender people across the country.

(*name changed to keep the man's anonymity.)

Also Read: Clarion Call For Inclusivity: Parents Of Queer Children Come Out In Support Of NCERT's Training Manual

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