In a first Mumbai witnessed an open transgender marriage at a temple recently. Madhuri Sarode, a transgender woman who has fought for the rights of the LGBT community tied the knot with her long-term (almost two years) boyfriend Jay Kumar Sharma.
The match was made not in heaven but on social media. Madhuri and Jay met on Facebook, fell in love and found that instant connection. The two decided to get married according to Hindu customs and unlike others, they wanted to start their marriage life without hiding it from the world. No while we’re not seeing the first transgender marriage of our generation, but Madhuri and Jay’s wedding is one of the first that was meant to be celebrated with the society openly.
What’s Madhuri’s next move? She is hoping to get clarity over their right to marriage following the Supreme Court’s landmark judgement in 2014. SC had declared the transgender community as a separate identity (third gender) — male and female — including voting, applying for passports, driving license or admission to educational institutions eligibility.
However, their rights to marriage was nowhere mentioned in the declaration. Madhuri said in an interview to TOI, “I want the marriage certificate to be given to me as a transgender. I’m willing to fight for it, and even go to court if I have to. We live in India and it’s really difficult to pull Section 377 out of the books. Personally I haven’t faced any issues but I want to fight for myself and other Madhuris in India.”
She further added, “We have been together for five years. Our marriage should be accepted legally, but it is a difficult process. But if we can get a separate identity, we should also be allowed to get married.”
The good thing is Jay wasn’t alone. His sister and brother-in-law came all the way from Dubai to attend the wedding and their support worked as a backbone. On the other hand, his parents know of their relationship, but unaware of the wedding. As of now, the main focus is to getting a marriage certificate, Jay says.
We wish the couple all the very best for their future together and Thank you for being the light bearer. Happily ever after!
Feature Image Credit: Facebook/Aher Abheena
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