Sukanyeah Krishna, is a 21 years old transgender woman, who belongs to Ernakulam, Kochi, Kerala, she always felt that she was a girl and used to be confused while being around with boys. By her birth itself, she experienced gender dysphoria, also known as gender identity disorder. “I questioned my parents by asking them why I am spending time with boys, to which they replied, that you are a boy. But I never accepted that. So there was a clash of opinion between me and my parents,” explained Sukanyeah.
Gender dysphoria is a condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex.
Sukanyeah’s parents took her to the doctors and the doctor said that the reason could be hormonal imbalance. “When I was in 9th grade, with the consent of my parents, doctor injected male hormones in me, continuously for two years. Later my body started rejecting those hormones and this took a toll on my health. I was merely 16 years old, and I lost consciousness and fell down, this was at a time when I was appearing for SSC board exams, because of this I couldn’t complete my exams. I eventually became fat, my shoulders broaden and I grew facial hair. After this, I discontinued the treatment,” said Sukanyeah.
Sukanyeah left her home when she was 18 years old, and she moved from Kerala to Benguluru. She struggled for her survival and her gender identity. But she refused to give up during the darkest days of her life.
Sukanyeah said that, “In our country one has to complete 18 years of age to undergo Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) also known as Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). When I first started out, I was all alone. Nobody was there to guide me regarding the procedures. I approached more than 10 hospitals but failed.”
Gender Reassignment Surgery also known as sex change surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery, gender reassignment surgery is a procedure that changes a person’s external genital organs from those of one gender to those of the other.
After beating all odds, Sukanyeah could seek an appropriate treatment at a leading hospital in Mumbai. According to her, GRS is a long and expensive process and she has already undergone a couple of surgeries.
Sukanyeah recently underwent a thorough psychological evaluation for a GRS surgery, at Masina Hospital. “Psychological evaluation is mandatory to rule out any psychopathology that needed to be addressed. Since a SRS is an irreversible procedure that affects all aspects of the client’s life, it is necessary to determine that the patient is mentally sound to take this decision,” said Arti Shroff, Clinical Psychologist, Masina Hopsital, Mumbai.
Arti further informed, “It is often seen that upon evaluation, clients who have received little or no social support from family, friends and co-workers suffer from a wider range or psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders as compared to those who do have support. A client whose families have threatened to ostracize them, or those who have a history of being bullied are most vulnerable to psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders and even paranoid schizophrenia.”
Sukanyeah will be undergoing her final surgery soon, which will fully transform her into a woman. “Social media has played a vital role in creating awareness regarding gender dysphoria amongst people,” said Sukanyeah.
Arti further added, “I get cases like this very often. I have a client who is a woman and wants to be a man. Her family is very understanding and is supporting her.”
Most of (GID) or gender dysphoria patients come to us at the age group of 20s-30s said doctors. “They are generally born with the disorder but as they grow up, the mental distress grows higher. For gender reassessment surgery, a series of psychological tests are to be assessed. However, there are no definite guidelines on GID’s procedure or treatment,” said Dr. Karia, consulting psychiatrist at Sion Hospital.
Sukanyeah who will be getting married soon, signed off by saying, “Everything is possible but we must strive for it and work hard.”