Thiruvananthapuram: For the transgender community, the lack of acceptance and social stigma were the issues which had always haunted them. But things have changed, and acceptance from society has encouraged more and more transgender persons to come forward and participate in public events without inhibitions. As many as 35 transwomen participated in Attukal this year.
According to Sreekutty Namitha, people accepting the transgender people as they are is a welcome one. “This is my fourth Pongala. With each passing year, we are becoming more and more accepted by society. Majority of the society consider us as ordinary people today. I consider the opportunity of being able to attend the festival of women along with thousands of other women as a wonderful experience. Offering the pongala and getting the blessings of Amma has always been a childhood dream of mine,” she said.
Kollam resident Suku who was attending her second pongala said that it was a moment of bliss. “I prayed for the construction of a new house last time. Amma heard my prayers and I completed a new house. As long as my health allows, I will attend the pongala,” said Suku.
For Chirayankeezhu resident Akshaya who offered her first ever pongala this year, it was a moment of great happiness to be part of such a huge festival.