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Five suicides since Jan 2021 in Kochi, transgenders seek support

Mental stress main cause; community calls for backing from family, society and government to put an end to their misery

Published: 18th May 2022 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2022 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI:  The suspected suicide of transwoman Sherin Celine Mathew is the fifth such incident Kochi has witnessed since January 2021. From love failure to financial crisis, the transgender community calls for support from the family, society and government to put an end to the suicidal tendency among their members.

As far as Sherin’s case is concerned, transgenders suspect that a love failure might be a reason behind her extreme step. In July last year, RJ Ananya Kumari Alex died by suicide after her sex reassignment surgery allegedly went wrong. Sree Dhanya was found dead in a rented flat at Vyttila in June. Two other members of the community -- Diya Dileep in January and Sradha in September -- ended their lives following mental stress last year. Thripthi Shetty, a transwoman who married Hrithik M, a transman, said many in the community live an isolated life cut off from the family. 

“Like other humans, transgenders also require emotional support. Though there are changes in society, many still do not see us as transgenders. There are still many parents who have completely broken their ties with their children who are transgenders. For our community members, support from the family helps overcome the difficult situations. Now, there are transgenders in every profession including in government services,” Thripthi said.

Arunima Manoharan, president of the Kerala Pradesh Transgender Congress, said many transgenders are ending their lives due to depression. “ Though the state has recognised the transgender community, they are belittled by government officials and police. Many in society are still against transgenders,” Arunima said.

According to her, love failures are becoming frequent among the transgender community. “Transgenders are often cheated by their partners. Many men become living partners of transwomen. But after a few months, the relationship will break up causing mental trauma to the transgender. There are many who befriend transwomen for financial gains,” she said.

Thripthi opined that every transgender wishes for sex reassignment surgery. “Some face depression after they fail to arrange enough money to undergo the surgery. Some people become mentally upset if the reassignment surgery does not give the desired result. Sometimes, the surgery leads to other complications and requires further treatment. All are familiar with the death by suicide of Ananya following the surgery,” she said.



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