According to a Madras high court recommendation, the Tamil Nadu government has notified a glossary of terms in English and Tamil to be used, including in the media, to address and describe people in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Last year, Justice Anand Venkatesh made the suggestion while hearing the case of a same-sex couple seeking protection from their families, who were opposed to their relationship.
He has since issued a number of directives to state and federal governments in order to protect the community from harassment. He proposed a glossary for the community in order for it to be addressed with dignity and respect.
An additional advocate general informed Venkatesh on Monday that the glossary had been published in the Tamil Nadu government gazette on August 20. It contains terms such as ‘Thirunangai’ (transgender woman), ‘Thirunambi’ (transgender man), ‘Paal Puthumaiyar’ (queer), and ‘Oodupal’ (transgender man) (intersex).
C Moulee, co-founder of Queer Chennai Chronicles and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, hoped the glossary would remain. “Because the discussion of gender, sexuality, and queerness does not end here.” “It’s still evolving,” Moulee tweeted. “It is critical that the community is consistently heard in order to improve our society.” But my concern is that this’mandatory’ usage may endanger queer people (whom this is supposed to help) if we do not use a term to self-identify that is not in the government gazette.”