A heartwarming story comes from Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore, where a transwoman was welcomed back home by her family. Named Nisha, the 21-year-old was ostracised by her loved ones three years ago. She came back a few months ago, after which her parents organised a 'Manjal Neerattu' function to celebrate her identity. It is a 'coming of age' ceremony in Tamil Nadu, and it is observed after the girl's first menstruation, a sign of attaining womanhood.
Being a women-centric ceremony, many of Nisha's female relatives and friends came to bless her. Usually, the 'Manjal Neerattu' is held a year after a transperson's gender-affirmation surgery. However, her parents wanted to celebrate her identity earlier as they showered her with love.
Earlier Shunned, Now Accepted
According to The New Indian Express, Nisha hails from the Virudachalam town in the Cuddalore district. Her father, Kolanji, is a wage labourer and Amudha, her mother, is a sanitation worker. She studied in a private school in town, after which she attended a high school in Tiruchy. One day, her parents asked about her identity, after which she replied that she "felt like a woman", her parents were enraged and told her to leave the house.
Leaving her home, Nisha travelled to Tiruchy, where she lived with a trans-community. Slowly and steadily, she started to embrace her identity and decided to get a gender-affirmation surgery done. Then she decided to come back home and make amends with her family.
Her family also shared, "A few months ago, when she came home, she explained her situation. She made us understand everything, and we accepted her. We decided to organise the ceremony for her." Apart from her family members, her school friends also blessed her. Over the years, the acceptance of the transgender community has risen. However, despite this, there is still a long way to go to reduce stigma about the same.