The Indian state of Kerala will host the country’s first sports meet for trans people.
The Kerala State Sports Council is hosting the event in an effort to raise awareness of the trans community.
Competitors will tough it out in athletic events including the 100m and 200m sprints, 400m race, relay, shot put and long jump. They’ll face off at the state-level competition on April 28.
‘This will be the first ever transgender sports meet which is an initiative of the government,’ event coordinator Anil Arjunan, told The Times of India.
‘We are expecting around 20 participants from each district and the representatives of each district will compete among each other.
‘Also, a three-day warm up and coaching in different items will be given to the participants in their respective districts.’
Fear is holding trans people back
Shyama is 25-year-old medical graduate who helped organise the sports competition. She said many trans people, including herself, shied away from sports at school and university for fear of mockery.
‘Even though we have made our presence felt in the cultural spaces and showcased our talents like in mimicry, dance, mono act and so on, we were never given a platform to explore and experience our skills in sports until now. This event will be a revival of dreams for many including me,’ she said.
‘The transgender sports meet will be an experience as well as opportunity for everyone in the community.’