The Kerala High Court recently observed that a transgender person has an equal right to participate in competitions.

"It is my considered opinion that a transgender person is having equal right to participate in competitions.", the Bench of Justice VG Arun noted while allowing a transgender petitioner to participate in judo competition in her chosen gender category.

The petitioner in this case was a transgender person (transsexual as per the order), whose chosen self-perceived gender identity was woman. The petitioner underwent Sex Reassignment Surgery and claims that the transition is complete.

It was submitted by the counsel for the petitioner that even after undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery, the petitioner actively participated in various sports events at the University level in the transgender category. Now she wanted to participate in the District Level Judo competition being held on 30th and 31st of July, 2022.

However, while submitting her application for participation through online mode, she was informed that transgender persons will not be allowed to participate in the competition.

Advocate Dhanuja MS appeared for the petitioner and Government pleader appeared for the State of Kerala. Advocate Latha Anand appeared for Kerala State Sports Council.

The Court observed that a transgender has equal right to participate in the competitions. Further, the Court also noted that in the absence of any category for participating transgender persons, the petitioner was seeking to participate in her identity as woman.

Therefore the Court held "If the organisers have not made arrangements for participating transgenders, then the petitioner will have to be permitted to participate in her chosen category."

The Court directed the Kerala Judo Association to accept the petitioner's application.

"Therefore, respondents 3 and 4 are directed to accept the petitioner's application and do the needful, if the time stipulated for submitting applications is not over. If the application reaches respondents 3 and 4 within time, the petitioner shall be allowed to participate in the Championship provisionally and subject to the final outcome of this writ petition.", the Court said.

Cause Title- Anamika v. State of Kerala & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Order