November 17, 2015
It was a joyous occasion for the transgender community of Coimbatore when all the members came together to celebrate the Thirunangaiyarin Mupperum Kalaivizha (Cultural Fest of the Transgenders) at the Srinivasa Marriage Hall near Gandhipuram on Tuesday.
There were smiles all around as the transgenders danced, sang, participated in ramp walks and thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the biggest festival for the transgenders in Coimbatore organized by the Coimbatore District Transgenders Welfare Association.
According to Priya Babu, a writer and activist for the transgender community, “The association, which was started in 2012, had conducted a number of small events, but nothing this big. We will continue conducting this festival every year,” she said.
Adding that there are more than 500 transgender women in Coimbatore, Priya said that it is important that they come together atleast once a year as a show of support. “These people live in clusters outside the city and rarely meet each other. This is why they should interact with each other more often,” she pointed out.
An exclusive website, www.covaitransgender.org, was inaugurated by Andal Priyadharshini, Director of Coimbatore Podhigai Channel. “All the activities of Coimbatore transgenders will be updated in the website on regular basis,” Priya said.
A book, ‘Moondram Palinathavarin Payanam,’ written by the first transgender writer from Coimbatore, Rathi, was also released on the occasion. The book was launched by T. Murugan, Additional Director of District Rural Development Agency.
Speaking at the event, actor Ranjith said that people should not discriminate based on gender. “Everybody should be seen as equals and no one is superior to the other,” he said. He also lauded the togetherness and unity among transwomen.
He advised the transwomen to not let the world exploit them. “Transwomen are easily cheated by people as they are tender at heart. Hence, it is essential to be cautious about the people you interact with,” he added.
Various performances, including Thappattam, Karagattam, Bharathanatyam, folk dances, songs, and traditional tribal dances were performed by transgenders in the event. Anjali, a transgender from Chinnavedapatti was crowned Miss Coimbatore; five others won the runners-up titles.