KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — It’s a dream come true for Ziya Paval, a transgender woman born a man, who has always wanted to be a mother.
Her partner, Zahad, a transgender man born a woman, is currently eight months pregnant with their first child.
The ecstatic couple from Kerala is making news the world over as India’s first pregnant transgender couple with their child due in March.
“I am eagerly waiting to hear our baby call me amma,” said Ziya, 21.
“Like my dream of becoming a mother, he (Zahad) has a dream of becoming a father and today a life of eight months is moving in his belly with his full consent.”
As far as they know, no one else has called themselves a biological parent in the transgender community.
The couple first met three years ago and have been inseparable since. They decided to have a baby one and a half years ago, when they were both at different stages of their gender transition.
After Zahad’s mother finally consented, Ziya announced their pregnancy last week on social media.
Congratulations have poured in and their pregnancy photos have gone viral.
Zahad, who only uses one name, conceived the baby while undergoing hormone therapy, which was stalled to get pregnant.
Ziya also stopped her hormone therapy at her doctor’s advice.
By that time, Zahad’s breasts had already been removed but the uterus and related organs had not, making pregnancy possible.
Initially, Zahad, 23, was reluctant to get pregnant but Ziya’s desire to become a mother changed that.
Besides, adopting was difficult as legal proceedings were challenging for a transgender couple.
When the couple first met, both were estranged from their families.
Ziya is from a conservative Muslim family that never allowed her to learn classical dance. They used to cut her hair so she did not dance.
She left home to participate in a youth festival and never went back. She learnt dance at a transgender community and became a professional dancer.
She now teaches it to students in the Kozhikode district.
Zahad, who is trained as an accountant, is from a Christian family from the fishing community in Thiruvananthapuram city. He currently works at a supermarket.
He left his family after coming out as transgender to them. But after he became pregnant, his family accepted the couple, been supportive and are helping him with the pregnancy.
After the baby is born, the couple will have to find more work to make ends meet, BBC reported.
“It is very difficult to survive,” said Ziya, adding that she will have to take on more dance students.
“Zahad will go back to work about two months after the baby is born. Then I will take care of the baby.”
According to the couple, the transgender community has been “very welcoming” of their pregnancy.
“Of course, there are people both within the transgender community as well as outside who believe in stereotypes. They think a trans man cannot be carrying a baby,” said Ziya.
“But it doesn’t matter.”