Trans man makes history as first in India to give birth: ‘Today is the day I get to hold my baby’

Ziya Patal and Zahhad pose for a photograph

A trans couple in India have made history as the first in the country to become biological parents in a heartwarming moment that has spread trans joy globally. 

Trans woman and dancer Ziya Paval and her partner, trans man Zahad, welcomed their baby into the world in Kozhikode on Wednesday (8 February) – but they have kept their child’s gender identity quiet for the moment. 

Paval posted on Instagram to share their news with the world. Alongside an image of their newborn, she wrote: “Tears of joy rolling down.”

Paval told ANI (Asian News International): “I am so happy. Today is the day I got to hold my baby.” 

The 21-year-old mum added that their baby – born a month early – has had “some milk” and was “perfectly fine”.

According to the BBC, Zahad, who is an accountant, plans to go back to work after two months while Paval takes care of their child.  

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Well-wishes have poured in for the family, with state education minister R Bindu congratulating them in a tweet. 

“Let the birth of their child – whose very existence subverts society’s obsolete and rigid cisgender dichotomies – open doors to a new, more inclusive, gender-aware world,” she wrote.

In the run-up to the monumental birth, Paval wrote on Instagram: “We are about to realise my dream of becoming a mother and his dream of becoming a father.

“From what we came to know, this is the first trans man’s pregnancy in India.”

The couple – from southern Kerala, who have reportedly been together for three years – halted hormone therapy after meeting each other to try for a baby.

They confirmed that they would continue to medically transition following the birth of their child. 

The pair said their decision to become parents was built both out of their unwavering desire to have a child, and as a way to show the trans community that natural parenthood is possible.

“There may be many trans men or trans women who wish to become parents like us, but they do not have the courage to step ahead, fearing humiliation and rejection,” Paval told the Indian Express.

India is divided when it comes to LGBTQ+ and transgender rights, with legislation failing to meet equitable standards for queer people.

While there are anti-discrimination laws in place to prevent the mistreatment of LGBTQ+ people, public opinion polls suggest that the country still has a long way to go in building acceptance. Additionally, same-sex marriage is still not recognised.

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