Mumbai: In a society where gender is strictly divided and owes to the development of the generation, there are a few instances, quite uncommon, where the child is caught between the physical and emotional turmoil, societies standards and their definition of being the ‘normal gender’.
Gender reassignment often sounds simple but the trauma one experiences to get a normal life is far beyond imagination. Not all parents understand their child’s emotional need.
Similar is the case of a 46-yr-old Aarav Appukuttan from Kerala who bravely experienced the trauma for 45 years until he finally could go for the gender reassignment.
Aarav was trapped in a woman’s body for 45 years finally went through the surgery at a Mumbai hospital to be a man. Luckily fell in love with Sukanyeah Krishna a 22-yr-old man who wanted to be a woman.
Since both were at the same clinic and Aarav and Sukanyeah both spoke Malayalam, Aarav decided to listen in to Sukanyeah’s phone conversation with her family.
A very casual conversation between the two led them to exchange their contact numbers. Eventually, both fell in love and now the couple is finally getting married.
Speaking of their childhood and the trauma both under went for many years, Aarav says like any normal girl he had long hair when he was 13. But would get upset over getting attracted towards girls of the same age.
However, he decided to speak about his issues with his mother who took him to a doctor. On his visit to the doctor, Aarav was told it is likely to happen due to hormonal imbalances since now he is turning into a lady and was asked to wait for a couple of years before finally going for the treatment.
His Gender Identity Disorder (GID) became more severe when he lost his mother and took over the responsibility of looking after his siblings rather than focusing on his disorder.
“I used to hate my body and wanted to cut it sometimes. But, I had to restrain myself and keep my feelings in check for 45 years. I always behaved like everything was normal,” says Aarav.
Sukanyeah who was a man for 22 years of her life says she too had similar experiences and experiencing GID during her childhood was not easy.
She said after she lost her father, her mother took Sukanyeah to a doctor, who started her on male hormone therapy. “With the therapy, my facial and body structure changed. I started developing muscles, my shoulders became broader and I lost a lot of hair on my head,” she said.
Sukanyeah who has studied software engineering and currently works as freelance web developer says through out the therapy she was given a high-protein diet for her muscle development. “No one understood what I was going through. During my Class 10 board exams, I fainted owing to the pressure,” she said. She continued to study after dropping out of school.
Speaking of their marriage the elated couple says “ We wanted a small marriage ceremony, but our friends are asking for a treat. So, we will have a grand wedding.”
Aarav says the couple wants to counsel children experiencing GID in order to support them.
Dr. Sanjay Pandey, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Andheri, who operated Aarav and Sukanyeah speaks about GID saying the children experiencing GID are normal and talented as any normal child.
“The only difference is that they feel trapped in the body of a gender they do not want to be. This is psychologically and emotionally tough,” Doctor said.
He added that gender reassignment surgery in India costs between Rs 4 to 5 lakhs but the same surgery in Thailand due to its popularity would costs between Rs18 lakh to Rs19 lakh.