Meet Ziya and Zahad, India’s first transgender couple to have baby

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03/26/2023

Ziya Pavel always wanted to be a mother; Zahad not so much. But the funny thing about love is that it makes you do things that you never imagined you would. And so, Zahad reportedly became the first trans man in India to birth a child. The journey of Ziya, 21, and Zahad, 23, in embracing their true identities may be similar to many in the transgender community, but as a trans woman and a trans man embarking on a journey of parenthood, it is like no other. Right from their decision to have a baby together a year and a half ago to not revealing the child’s gender soon after its birth on February 8, their story has been unconventional. The day we meet the couple and the baby is the day for the baby’s routine checkup at the Kozhikode Medical College. The hospital visit was slated for morning but got rescheduled to noon because of the doctor’s unavailability. When we arrive at the couple’s rented place in Kozhikode’s Ummalathoor, we find Ziya, with the baby cradled in her arms, walking down the narrow lane towards the main road. Zahad, still recovering from the C-section, is at home, she says. We decide to accompany Ziya and the little one to the hospital. At the medical college, Ziya navigates her way to the paediatrician’s room with ease. She is a familiar face here, evident from the warm greetings and inquiries she receives from the nurses and staff. Some inquire about Zahad’s health and the baby’s progress, clearly happy to see the new family thriving. Since the doctor was making his rounds in the maternity ward, Ziya takes the baby there. Post consultation, she makes her way to the milk bank to collect breast milk for the baby, to be fed thrice a day.

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