Specially-abled Kiran Nayak striving for transgender rights


Hyderabad: Since the annulment of Article 377 two years ago, the members of LGBTQ in India are still battling to come out of the closet — especially those who live in the rural areas. However, a 35-year-old transgender from Warangal, Kiran Nayak, is not only happily married but is also working for the rights of specially-abled transgenders in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Born in a tribal community, Kiran was afflicted with polio when he was only three years old and eventually started using a wheelchair. “‘I was assigned female at birth, and my family was quite happy. However, from the beginning, I was confused about my gender, and that impacted my social relationships. Most students in my class — both boys and girls — avoided me. I had very few friends,” he says. It was during his school years that Kiran shunned the female name given by his parents and embraced a gender-neutral name. Life was never easy for Kiran, but he didn’t fail to smile while facing every challenge. “I met Kavya, who is now my wife, in school. But homosexual marriage, that too in an Adivasi community, was out of bounds. Despite all the problems, we decided to tie the knot in Tirupati in 2008. We were targeted and harassed by our families. Things were so bad, that we considered committing suicide,” he says.

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