“When I saw her, I couldn’t resist talking to her,” said Aarav Appukuttan about his now soon-to-be wife, Sukanyeah.
Aarav, 46, was assigned female at birth, and Sukanyeah, 22, was assigned male. Both from Kerala, they met by chance at a hospital some three years ago. Neither of them knew they both wanted to get a sex reassignment surgery at the time.
“I saw her and I was really curious to get to know her. So, I initiated the conversation and we started talking,” he told The Better India.
With a story like that, one instantly wonders what their lives are like.
Interestingly, Aarav says he has never really had a bad experience due to his gender identity.
“Whenever someone would approach me or make fun of me based on my identity, I would just smile. They would always wonder if I was a woman or a man, and I would happily clear their doubt. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, my mother taught me that,” said Aarav.
Sukanyeah on the other hand, did.
“You know how our society is. The experiences were pretty bad. Just recently I had applied for a job in Bengaluru. I excelled in every test, and got a great feedback. But when the employers saw my Facebook profile and figured I was a transgender person, they rejected my application. They told me the clients wouldn’t be comfortable in dealing with someone like me,” Sukanya told The Better India.
But it doesn’t bother her much. Sukanyeah is a software developer, who believes she’s great at her job. “Every freelance project I’ve taken up has got me great reviews from my employers,” she said.
She found it easier to share her bad experiences with Aarav, which is when they became really close. The surgery brought them even closer.
Gradually, Aarav realised how similar they were and fell in love.
“At that time, I was confused whether I should propose to her or not. I knew she loved me, but I wasn’t sure.”
Now with their sexes changed, Aarav went up to Sukanyeah, told her he didn’t care about the age gap between them, and asked her if she’d marry him. Sukanyeah, of course, said yes. The rest was history.
Next month, they will be the first transgender couple to get married in India. Aarav’s family has been in full support of their decision, while the reaction of Sukanyeah’s relatives has been mixed. But among friends, the two expressed how the response they’ve received since they announced their wedding has been amazing.
“I’ve got some great friends who are stoked at the idea of us getting married. They’re the ones who’ve supported me all along and are helping us with everything,” Sukanyeah told TBI.
All they’re waiting for now are the documents.
“We’ve applied to get our sex changed in all our documents, and that takes a lot of time. As soon as that’s done, we will tie the knot. I want it to be a legal marriage, so it’s easier for us to adopt a child. You can’t do that without a marriage certificate,” said Aarav.
While Sukanya is currently working, Aarav is still figuring out his future plan. “Maybe I’ll take a loan and start a small scale business. I’m still deciding what to do, but I need to do that fast to be able to make ends meet,” he said.
The two are yet to complete their sex reassignment surgery, for which they’re raising funds. You can contribute here.