When I migrated from Auroville to Chennai, Sathya was one of the first few transgender persons I met. Transwoman and friend Rose and I used to visit Sahodaran to meet and socialize with other transgender and gay people. It is here that I met Sathya. She was a beautiful and plumpy girl. She was warm and had a lovely smile on her face. She was friendly to me. I spoke sweet nothings to her, conversations on sex and love broke into laughter and we all laid ourselves on the mattresses, piling up on each other, saying silly jokes about boys and were laughing. Sathya was fun to be with.
A few weeks later, when I visited Sahodaran again. Sathya was there. She was a different girl. She seemed to be lost in herself. She looked visibly disturbed and sad. She was on the phone arguing with her boyfriend and Oh my God!, there were bloody marks on her wrist. She told me that she had cut her wrist several times with blade. The reason why she did this obviously was love. She wanted to prove a point to her boyfriend and this was her way. What can I say? She was an emotional girl. She was pure. She was possessive. The intensity of her love for the man she loved shocked me.
Another month had gone and I was in an event to meet Nepal’s openly gay Member of Parliament Sunil Pant who had come down to Chennai. Suddenly there was restlessness among my friends and I was wondering what was wrong. It was a news of death. The death of Sathya. She wanted to change her sex but could not afford Sex reassignment surgery as it was very costly. She chose to undergo penectomy. She admitted herself in a reputed quack doctor’s place where more than a hundred transwomen had already done their surgeries and removed their male genitals. Unfortunately, during anesthesia, she died of heart attack. The news of her death shocked me so much. She could have been saved only if our legal systems had been in favour of transpeople. During the times of her death, there was so support of any kind for people who wanted to change their sex through surgery. The SRS was costing almost one lakh rupees. The government hadn’t passed a G.O to provide free SRS services and the medical support hadn’t been started by the government hospitals in Chennai then.
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