Gender-Affirmative Healthcare in Kerala: A Preliminary Report

In 2017, the case of a trans man whose sex reassignment surgery had been severely botched up by an untrained doctor in the Thiruvananthapuram Medical college gained some attention in the media. Despite initial celebratory reports about a first-of-its-kind medical procedure in Kerala, it was later revealed that the trans man’s health was in a dire condition, and that he had been inadequately informed about his options and the risks involved. In 2018, a 22 year-old trans man committed suicide when he was repeatedly denied gender affirmative surgery. Violating both national and state-level directives that adults need not take parental consent for sex reassignment surgery, he was refused treatment without parental consent. These publicized cases, however, form only the tip of the iceberg. Most transgender individuals continue to suffer because of lack of access to gender affirmative procedures, or because of medical malpractice by doctors.

A priliminary report on Gender- Affirmative Healthcare , in Kerala.

The aim of the report is to look at the extent to which the healthcare provisions of the Kerala State Transgender Welfare Policy of 2015 has been implemented, and also to explore on- the-ground issues in providing gender-affirmative healthcare to transgender persons in Kerala. It is not meant to be a general practice guide (cf. Sappho for Equality, 2017) or a comprehensive study.  As such, by compiling the concerns and opinions of experienced transgender community workers and MHPs, this report points at some specific areas that require attention and concerted dialogue between transgender community representatives, policymakers and MHPs within the specific regional context of Kerala. In addition, this report will also touch upon other aspects of healthcare for transgender individuals, such as general healthcare and HIV-AIDS surveillance and treatment, since they are also important aspects of healthcare for transgender persons.

Read the report here


This report has been compiled by Shilpa Menon , for Queerala.

Queerala , as part of Project Vistaara by SAATHII, aims to deploy the report for further advocacy in area of inclusive health care services.