A matrimonial website ‘thirunangai.net’ for transgenders

Sudha introduces herself as “Mrs. Sudha Sridhar” with a hint of pride. Married to a gentle and loving man for five years, Sudha has now set her mind on having a child. “I want to have a child through a surrogate mother,” says Sudha, a transgender (TG).

In the world of TG women, such stories of marital bliss are rare. The majority are exploited for sex and money by the men in their lives. The TGs move on from one relationship to another, and the cycle of hope, exploitation and disillusionment is repeated.

Now, thirunangai.net, “the world’s first matrimonial website for transgenders”, seeks to break this pattern. Carrying profiles of TGs, the website invites only men willing to get into a lifelong relationship, as binding as marriage, with a TG.

Masterminded by Kalki, founder and director of Sahodari (an NGO working for the uplift of the TG community), thirunangai.net has a committee that processes every proposal and organises a face-to-face interview with a man who has written in and expressed an interest in any of the TGs profiled on the site.

“We ferret out information about the man,” says Kalki. “His creed, caste and religion are not of any importance. The man has to be in a job that will enable him to support a family. And, yes, we insist on meeting up with his closest kinsmen.”

The last step is aimed at avoiding future complications. As social stigma is attached to relationships with TGs, most men want to keep them under wraps. “We are looking for all the respect and love a woman can expect to find in a marriage,” says Kalki. “There is a huge misunderstanding over the true nature of TGs. Many believe TGs are attracted to one another. The truth is: most of the TG women are heterosexual and are attracted to men.”

Dispelling misconceptions

In time, thirunangai.net will include features that dispel such misconceptions, and be a platform for TGs to express their views.

At present, the site has profiles of six women and the information is mostly in Tamil.

“As all the women are from Tamil Nadu and are looking for Tamil men, writing in Tamil was the logical choice. In the near future, the site will present the information in English as well.

We also plan to offer profiles in Spanish. We have TG friends in Brazil who will assist us.”

Thirunangai.net does not charge for its matrimonial services.