Thiruvananthapuram sources stated that fifteen transgender persons came to vote for the Lok Sabha elections at the Fort School in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday morning. Reportedly some of them have voted in previous elections but that was after ticking the column of either male or female. Meanwhile, for the first time now, voters in Kerala could identify themselves as transgender persons in their electoral cards.
Sreekutty, who is state president of Sexual and Gender Minority Federation, and also part of the Oasis Cultural Society, an organization for the welfare of trans persons in Thiruvananthapuram said “Earlier, trans men had chosen the gender identity of male and trans women had chosen the column of the female. But for the first time, a third column was given as an option, and quite a few trans people have chosen their gender identity as transgender. About 40 trans people should have voted from the state this time". Sreekumar adds "It is the Oasis address that some of those 15 transgender persons used in their ID cards as the address to register, having been driven away from their homes".
Moreover, Sreekutty’s gender identity in the voter’s card is female, and that’s because she chose it to be. Sreekutty says “The Supreme Court had in 2014 recognized the right to self-identify as transgender. She chose her identity as female, and there are trans men who chose the identity of male among us. But we had been asking the government to include a third column for the transgender identity ever since a transgender policy was passed by the State in 2015 and the government has helped in sorting out all the legal issues".