Indian transgender couple cause a stir with pregnancy photoshoot

Ziya Paval and Zahad, a transgender couple from the southern state of Kerala, India, are making headlines and history with their pregnancy photoshoot.

The couple, who were in the midst of a gender transition, decided to have a baby one-and-a-half years ago, pausing their hormone therapy on the advice of their doctors.

“Trans people deserve family,” said transgender actress S Negha on Paval’s Instagram post, which showcases the couple’s journey and received a flood of congratulations.

The couple is believed to be the first in India’s transgender community to publicly announce their pregnancy and identify as biological parents.

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Despite India’s Supreme Court ruling in 2014, that transgender individuals have the same rights as others, the couple still faces challenges in accessing education and healthcare and battles against prejudice and stigma.

Paval and Zahad, who both come from conservative families, left home before meeting and finding solace in the transgender community.

Cultural stigma

When Paval and Zahad met three years ago, they were both estranged from their families.

“I am from a conservative Muslim family which never allowed me to learn classical dance,” Paval said. “[My parents] were orthodox to the point that they used to cut my hair so that I did not dance.”

Paval left home to dance at a youth festival and never looked back.

She honed her skills at a transgender community centre and now passes on her knowledge to aspiring dancers in the Kozhikode district.

Zahad, with a background in accounting, hails from a Christian fishing community in Thiruvananthapuram city. He currently holds a job at a local supermarket. After coming out as transgender, he separated from his family but has since reconciled with them after becoming pregnant. They have been supportive throughout the pregnancy.

Paval says her family has still not come around. She said…

“Of course, there are people both within the transgender community as well as outside who believe in stereotypes. They think a trans man cannot be carrying a baby. But it doesn’t matter.”

The couple decided to start a family about a year and a half ago, during different stages of their gender transition. Zahad’s ovaries and uterus were still intact, so the couple discontinued hormone therapy as advised by their doctors.

Dr Mahesh DM, an endocrinologist in Bangalore city who has worked with several transgender people, said…

“Once the pregnancy is over, they can resume the sex hormone therapy.”

As they prepare to welcome their baby, the couple is determined to break down barriers and advocate for the rights of the transgender community. Paval said…

“It is very difficult to survive. But we’ll find a way to make ends meet.”

The couple’s optimism and strength in the face of adversity serve as a source of inspiration and hope for many.

Indian transgender couple cause a stir with pregnancy photoshoot | News by Thaiger

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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