Kerala HC permits Transgender to Live with Fellow Transgenders against his Mother’s Desire

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The mother of a transgender filed a writ petition before the Hon’ble Kerala High Court to set free and produce the body of her son who suffers from mood disorders and is violent at times and was allegedly detained by some transgenders.

The present case was adjudicated by a Division Bench of Kerala High Court comprising of Justice V. Chitambaresh and Justice K.P. Jyothindranath on 12th June 2018.

The petitioner states that the detenu has shown no inclination to return home and is wandering with transgenders exposing himself to the risk of physical abuse and organ transplant.

The detenu appeared before the court dressed as a female and asserted that he is a transgender by birth and does not suffer from any sort of mental aberration. But the petitioner brought to notice the past history of psychiatric treatment. This claim of the petitioner was refuted by the medical examination of the detenu.

The Medical Report stated:

“…he used to dress himself like girls from childhood. He used to keep company with girls during school life. He has aversion to males and avoid their company…He said he realized there are people like him only when he saw the Malayalam movie “Chandupottu”. He asserts that unless he is allowed to live like a woman, he will commit suicide. Also expresses the desire to undergo corrective surgery to change the sex.”

In “National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India” (2014) 5 SCC 438 the Supreme Court held:

“Gender identity…lies at the core of one’s personal identity, gender expression…A transgender’s personality could be expressed by the transgender’s behaviour and presentation…the values of privacy, self identity, autonomy and personal integrity are fundamental rights guaranteed to members of the transgender community under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and the State is bound to protect and recognize those rights.”

The High Court referred to the following saying by a transgender Chaz Salvatore Bono, an advocate, writer, musician and actor:

“There’s a gender in your brain and a gender in your body. For 99 percent of people, those things are in alignment. For transgender people, they’re mismatched. That’s all it is. It’s not complicated,
it’s not a neurosis. It’s a mix-up. It’s a birth defect, like a cleft palate.”

The High Court, while dismissing the petition, ruled:

“The self identification of the detenu as a transgender is clearly expressed by speech, mannerism, clothing etc. which we noticed during our interaction and fortified by the medical report…The detenu has undoubtedly the right to wander about or associate with likeminded people and cannot be compelled to be at his parental home as wished by the petitioner who is before us with folded hands and tearful eyes.”