The city of Mumbai saw the most unique kind of marriage as Madhuri Sarode, a transgender, married her boyfriend of five years, Jay Kumar Sharma. Though this is not the first transgender marriage in India, their marriage is unique as this wasn’t held in secret.
In India, the LGBT community has always fought for their rights and have also faced legal and social difficulties. Recognising the rights of transgenders in the country, the Supreme Court passed the landmark judgement three years ago which gave transgenders a separate identity while voting, applying for passports, driving license or admission to educational institutions. But, the judgement did not define their rights to marriage.
Madhuri Sarode, a transgender, married Jay Kumar Sharma at a temple in Mumbai, Maharashtra. There was an instant connect when they met on Facebook and after the courtship, Madhuri finally popped the question. They got married according to the Hindu customs and found no reason to hide their relationship from the world.
“We have been together for five years. Our marriage should be accepted legally, but it is a difficult process. But, if we can get a separate identity, we should also be allowed to get married,” said Madhuri.
Jay’s sister and brother-in-law came from Dubai to attend the wedding and have been very supportive of his decision. Jay also informs that his parents know of their relationship, but he hasn’t told them about the wedding. The couple at the moment wants to focus on getting a marriage certificate. “I want the marriage certificate to be given to me as a transgender. I’m willing to fight for it, and even go to court if I have to,” Madhuri said, adding, “We live in India and it’s really difficult to pull Section 377 out of the books. Personally, I haven’t faced any issue but I want to fight for myself and other Madhuris in India.”