Published: 26th December 2019
This Kerala transgender student is all set to go to Sabarimala for the second time
Avanthika is a first-year BA History student at CMS College, Kottayam. She had gone to Sabarimala after the Supreme Court verdict last year
Avanthika was excitedly prepping for a trek when we spoke. The trek will be adventurous, undoubtedly. After all, she has had to, in fact, request police protection. If all goes well, this transgender student will offer her prayers at the Sabarimala shrine as a woman for the second time.
Avanthika had announced her Sabarimala visit to the world through a one-line-long Facebook post on Thursday. "I'm going to the temple with two other transwomen - Tripthi and Renju. Both of them accompanied me last year too," she says.
This BA History student in CMS College, Kottayam considers herself an Ayyappa devotee. "I always wanted to go to Sabarimala with my new identity. It was a magical experience last year," she says. She had recently made it to news for being one of the two transgender students to seek admission at her college, under the Kerala Government's transgender quota.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had ruled, permitting women of menstruating age to enter the temple. "Even though there was a lot of debate and ruckus over cis-women's entry, none of them knew what to do about us trans women. It did create a lot of controversies last year. But thankfully, we could offer prayers without any hurdle. We had the police protection too," she says. "I hope it will be the same this year too," she adds.
Avanthika says that the internet did not bother to troll her this year. However, she's requested police protection as a precaution. "We don't want unwanted trouble. A lot of people mistook us to be cis women last year too," she says. These women are expected tor reach the shrine by 9 am on Friday.