They cast votes, proclaim gender identity

The number of votes cast by people from the third gender category has seen an increase in this Assembly election when compared to their electoral participation in the 2016 election in the 10 constituencies in the district.

Though the number of third gender electorate doubled from 207 in 2016 to 428 in 2021, the substantial increase has not reflected in the polling process.

While 34 votes were cast by the third gender category in the 2016 Assembly election, the figure bettered and stood at 103, this time.

Though Kavundampalayam constituency has the highest number of third gender electorate, 96 voters, the highest number of votes (40) from the category were cast in Thondamuthur constituency on Tuesday.

A significant aspect this time was that third gender voters have cast votes in all the 10 constituencies in the district.

In the 2016 assembly election, Coimbatore North, Thondamuthur, Singanallur and Kinathukadavu constituencies did not have a single vote from third gender category.

โ€œI feel proud to have cast my vote as a person from the third gender category. It is a special feeling to have exercised my franchise by proclaiming my gender identity,โ€ said K.S. Sulochana, a transwoman from Thondamuthur.

B. Rathi, president of Coimbatore District Transgenders Association, said that the participation of third gender voters in the electoral process attests their rights in the society, on par with males and females.

โ€œWe are also concerned about electing next leaders of the State. Our dream is to witness transgender candidates contesting in the coming elections,โ€ said Rathi.

According to Rathi, the association has around 1,500 transgenders as its members and it was taking efforts to get all the persons enrolled in the votersโ€™ list.

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