The 23-year-old transman from Kerala's Kozhikode and his partner, a transwoman, Siya are expecting their first baby in March this year.
Their couple photoshoot announcing the pregnancy on social media went viral and garnered a lot of attention.
“My life, my rules. That’s our motto for life and this has brought us so much joy,” said an excited Siya.
She added that, initially they were apprehensive to share the pictures but then they "wanted to celebrate our baby with everybody. We realised we didn't have to be shy about it.”
Siya, a classical dance teacher at Kozhikode who is 21 years old has transitioned, from her birth-assigned gender as a man, to a transwoman.
The couple have been together for over three years and have undergone hormone therapy as part of their transitioning process.
Zahad: Mother for 9 Months & Father for Life
When they decided to have a baby, they looked into the various options. They found out that if they had to adopt a baby, the legal proceedings would have been a challenge as they were a transgender couple.
They then realised that Zahad could conceive even though he had started to transition into a transman. But as someone who had struggled with being labelled a woman all his life, the decision to get pregnant took an emotional toll on him.
“Zahad agreed to get pregnant on the sole condition that he will be the child's father after the delivery,” laughed Siya. Zahad was full of smiles as he described his tryst with pregnancy.
“I feel adipoli! (great) I can't wait to see my baby doll. It is fascinating that I can be a mother and father. While it is a lot to take emotionally, I can't wait to complete this phase as a mother and then become a father.”Zahad
He explained that initially his mother had vehemently opposed the pregnancy, but has now warmed up to the idea of a grandchild.
“My mother was very scared about how the society will treat us. My child will be the first baby in our family. She was thrilled that I am becoming a mother and pushed me to become a woman again. But I made it very clear. Finally, she has accepted our truth and told us to live without being concerned about what others may say,” he added.
Siya: The Mother of the Child
Meanwhile, Siya is excited about being a mother. She grew up in a broken home and hadn't received support from her parents or siblings.
“I wanted to become a woman, which I did. But I never thought I could become a mother. But today that is happening! Society might have a lot of rules about how men and women should be. But at the end of the day, this is my life and I can live it the way I want,” she added.
Hailing from an orthodox Muslim family, she has faced a lot of criticism from her family. “My sisters belittled me, cited the Quran and defamed me. But I told them that this is my life and they don’t have a say.”
The couple have been seeking treatment from Kozhikode Medical College hospital and the delivery is expected in the first week of March 2023. Zahad, whose breasts were removed as part of the transitioning process, will continue his transitioning process after giving birth to the baby next month. They have decided to feed the baby with breast milk from the milk bank.
Photos Appreciated, But Trolls Galore
While the pictures of their pregnancy received a lot of appreciation and support, there were several comments trolling the couple.
“We were overwhelmed by the number of people who wrote to us saying they'll pray for the baby's good health. But many others criticised us and said we should live the gender roles we were assigned at birth. They said the photoshoot looked like a fancy dress show,” said Siya.
Zahad said that while everyone is asking them whether they want a boy or girl baby, they don’t care for the gender.
"Gender isn't defined by us or a reproductive organ. We are not going to label the child by gender, caste, or religion. The child has the freedom to choose the gender of his or her choice. All we will do is shower love and give freedom to the child."Zahad