HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

MP family accepts transgender as daughter-in-law, nikaah soon

Harsha Bhatnagar, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, July 17, 2014
First Published: 11:42 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:29 IST(31/7/2014)

Thirty-year-old Sanjana and Shadab Hasan’s (29) nikaah will be solemnised soon after Eid with the blessings of their families. Not only this, they will also get to raise Shadab’s three-year-old niece.

Apparently, this looks like just another love story but what makes it unique is that while Sanjana is a transgender and dresses up like a female, Shadab belongs to the MSM (men having sex with men) community.

This is a first for Madhya Pradesh, a conservative state where such sexual orientations are frowned upon.

While Sanjana is a counsellor with a community-based organisation (CBO) meant for the third gender people, Shadab runs a transport company.

Both families are from Bhopal. While Sanjana’s family reside in Jehangirabad, Shadab’s family lives in Bagh Farhat Afza.

In fact, Shadab was engaged to a girl and marriage was fixed for June 7, but in May end, his family felt that they would be ruining a lot of lives.

“They called me home to tell me they had accepted me as their daughter-in-law. Our families have met and preparations for marriage are on,” said Sanjana.

Shadab chipped in, “About 15 days after my parents accepted Sanjana, her brother, Amit (name changed) who had earlier thrashed her for her sexual preferences told her we could live according to our wishes.”

The love-lorn couple admitted “having been through a lot of emotional turmoil” during their nine years of courtship.

For Sanjana, the best part is the fact that Shadab’s sister and brother-in-law “have also promised that we could raise their daughter, Shifa.”

Ask Sanjana the reason behind their families accepting them and she thanks “almighty” in gratitude.

“We have always been rebuked by families, friends and relatives. As a teenager, I have lived and followed the traditions of eunuchs, danced in gatherings and even travelled to far off places to fend for myself. Going to college was a nightmare and I visited my family only after it was dark. It seemed life was heading nowhere. But now it is all over,” Sanjana added.

Neighbours are a little apprehensive about the entire thing. Though they don’t react negatively in front of the family members, behind their backs they scoff.

Sanjana was pursuing BSc with Mathematics and Science when she joined eunuchs.

Shadab’s brother-in-law Saleem, a carpenter by profession and sister Nazma, were the ones who stood by the couple through thick and thin.

Nazma asserted that “their sexual preferences are different and we must learn to respect them. How can we shun away our own sons and daughters because the society does not approve of them?

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