CHENNAI: SR Chakravarthy, a 40-year-old intersex 46 XX male, became the first person in Tamil Nadu to receive a TG (transgender) card issued by the State Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department on Wednesday. Through the Transgender Welfare Board members and other support groups, his fight for his identity reached its fruition.
Speaking to DT Next, he said, “Initially, I didn’t know there was an identity card for intersex individuals. Seeing my awareness videos, Premkumaran, a transman messaged me on Facebook and told me that there is a category for intersex people in the TG card issued by the Government.
“He told me to get in touch with a non-profit in Saidapet that works for transgender rights. Their transwomen Prabhavathi and Reema helped me with the application process. After medical tests, they issued the card. I’m beyond happy because it finally feels like my identity has been acknowledged. Earlier, people didn’t believe me when I told them I’m intersex. Now, I can show this card to them.”
Chakravarthy was a former VJ and character artist, who learned the fact that his medical condition had a term called intersexual only at the age of 38. Hailing from a small village in Panruti, he had to face harassment from not only his peers but also villagers. Having both functional male and female genitalia, he underwent numerous medical procedures to ease his discomfort and pain. However, that did nothing to help him and worsened his situation.
That did not stop him; his constant efforts to spread awareness and throw light on his condition on social media have motivated intersex people to approach him and seek the professional help they require. “An intersex child was born in Chidambaram five months back. They saw my interview and got in touch with me on Facebook and asked me how to go about it. Knowing that people are becoming more aware of the condition gives me satisfaction,” he smiled.
Having achieved this victory, his goal is to ensure more people avail of the TG card and avail of its benefits. He said he wants the intersex community to know that they too can live respectable and peaceful lives with help.
Commenting on how this is a huge step towards development, Arun Karthick, Transgender Welfare Board member said, “With the advent of technology and awareness, now people know who are transwomen or transmen. However, the concept of intersex is still very alien in society. Through this, we are hoping more people from the community register and avail of an ID card. The Government has been supportive and through this, we can also see benefits allocated separately for the community.”
Minister of Social Welfare and Women Empowerment, P Geetha Jeevan said, “This move will motivate more intersex individuals to forward and register. Cardholders will be able to avail of the benefits provided by the Government under the scheme.”
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