THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: He was a 'woman' and she was a 'man' once and ostracised by their families and harassed by the society over their transgender status for long.
But, Ishan and Surya are now all set to break several stereotypes in the society and set an example as the first transsexual couple to marry in Kerala, having undergone sex change surgeries some years ago.
As every ordinary man and woman, they will be marrying in an auspicious ceremony at an auditorium here on May 10, with the blessings and support of family members and friends.
Religious barriers and societal stigma has not deterred the transgender couple, in their 30s, from their decision to enter wedlock and lead a normal life.
A known TV artist, Surya said she had always cherished the dream of becoming a bride like any other woman.
"We both have suffered a lot over our gender. We were excluded and marginalised by the society once," she told PTI.
"But, now, everyone is starting to accept us. I hope, this marriage will help us getting more acceptance in the family and society," she said.
Hailing from a middle class family in Vattiyurkkavu here, Surya underwent the sex change surgery and became a woman in the year 2014.
The 31-year-old transwoman said she had been living separately from her family for some years as her parents and siblings could not accept her choice of gender.
The story of 33-year-old Ishan, a member of a conventional Muslim family at Vallakkadavu here, is also not different.
He said he met Surya while working in an NGO engaged in the welfare of transgenders.
Ishan said he had to suffer a lot to make his family and community understand his gender issues.
A woman before, he underwent the sex reassignment surgery three years ago.
"I proposed Surya and conveyed my wish to marry her. I was particular that it should be a legal marriage and we want to live a normal life like any other couple," he told PTI.
The transsexual couple is excited as both families have given their nod for the marriage and promised all support.
"We are trying to set a model to our fellows transgender and prove that we can also live a normal life like any others in the society," they said.
Both Surya and Ishan are members of the government's Transgender's Justice Board.
According to unofficial figures, there are over 35,000 transgenders in Kerala, which unveiled the country's first transgender policy in 2015.