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The artist is now the branch manager of Thakachal, a project by Sangama, an organisation working for the welfare of the LGBT community.
'Transgenders are ill-treated, made fun of and abused in Kerala'

in INDIA, 06/09/2013

wenty six-year-old Surya Vinod, a mimicry artist and reality show actor based in Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala, doesn't  hesitate to identify herself as a transgender. "I am what I am. I don't want to hide my sexual orientation and pretend that I am a man in front of society," says Surya. "The world is changing. If I hesitate to reveal myself, then who is going to fight for the rights of people like us?" Surya asks adamantly.

She knew it was not easy for a transgender to live a life on her own terms in Kerala as the state is still conservative in its approach to gender minorities. "I have experienced it all.This is a state where gender minorities are ill-treated and harassed by the public. Even a prominent reality show actor like me faces the wrath of people for coming out. But I am ready to face it because I want other people like me to enjoy a different life here. I don't want them to be in a closet," she says.

Surya is happy that at least the Indian government has recognised transgenders in the Aadhar card.  "The Aadhar card has a column for marking the sex as transgender. I am happy that we have an identity now," says Surya.

But Surya admits that Kerala is still conservative in its attitude. "It's very difficult to live in Kerala as a transgender. People are insensitive to our problems and mock us in public. Even a former woman minister of Kerala behaved badly towards us when we roamed in Thiruvanthapuram city to promote the film Ardhanaari," says Surya.

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