November 29, 2015
“It is overwhelming to know that transsexuals who have weathered tumultuous waters in terms of defining familial relationships are finally heading towards the path of trans motherhood”, says Kalki Subramanian, transwoman activist, poet and founder of Sahodari Foundation.
“Having been struggling to survive in a society that calls us queer, and the ideology that a transsexual has a woman’s mind in a man’s body, we have never felt complete about our gender. Now, motherhood can explain it all and make us complete”, adds Kalki.
Kalki carries with her the pain of lakhs of transwomen across the globe and the womb transplant surgery performed at a clinic in Ohio has given them a ray of hope. A historical medical procedure performed has transplanted uterus into women who don’t have one. Though it has been successfully carried out in Sweden, the transplant, which is to be performed in the US, has given plenty of hope to women transgenders to give birth.
According to a New York Times report, the surgery can also work for women born without uterus and those who had their uterus removed. After having a couple of babies, the transplanted uterus can be removed so that the patient doesn’t have to keep taking anti-rejection medication.
It is only a matter of time that the transwomen can see themselves pregnant with babies, thanks to the advancement in medical technology, affirms Dr. C. V. Kannaki Uthraraj of Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital. “The uterus could be transplanted and the procedure to get them to conceive could be akin to those in case of women sans uterus. It could nevertheless be a tedious procedure as medications and hormones would be needed to ensure that complications do not arise.”
A c-section would help get the baby out as transwomen usually have a “blind vagina” (wherein the testes and the male organ are removed and the vagina is fashioned to look like a woman’s vagina during the transitional surgery) and cannot deliver the normal way.
Priya Babu, a transwoman activist from Tamil Nadu, is enthused that this will help carry on their legacy to the next generation.
Seeing the opportunity as a gift from God, transwoman writer S. Poonkuzhali from Coimbatore says, “People discriminate us wherever we go. We are hated and ridiculed. A child could be the dream of most transwomen, I am sure that there will definitely be a transition in the emotional life where we have always felt detached and incomplete.” Poonkuzhali herself is waiting to be a mother.
Dr. K. Kalpana, an Obstetrician, however says that the complicated medical procedure still has a long way to go before it gets perfected. “Transgenders in the West go in for adoption out opt for surrogate mothers. But since the biology of transwomen is different and they do not have a uterus, the chances are remote considering the newness of the field,” she adds.