The Kerala government has come to the aid of Adam Harry, a 20-year-old transgender resident of the state, who aspires to be an airline pilot. The state's social justice department has sanctioned an amount of Rs 23.34 lakh to bear his training cost, CNBCB TV18 reported, after accessing a copy of the government order.
The amount will be used to help Harry pursue a three-year aviation training course at the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology in Thiruvananthapuram, the news channel reported.
The aid to Harry, a resident of the state's Thrissur district, came after he applied for government funding, the report added. Harry had claimed that he was unable to pay for his training cost as his family had expelled him after learning about his trans-identity, it further said.
“I am grateful to the Kerala government for this help," Harry told CNBC TV18.
Earlier, a report in The Hindu claimed that Harry had enrolled at the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology in Thiruvananthapuram in 2020, but failed to get a medical clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The aviation sector watchdog, after an extensive medical examination, had said that gender dysphoria -- mismatch between biological sex and their gender identity -- made him "temporary unfit" for a licence, the report claimed.
Harry was assigned female at birth but grew up to identify as a man. He has been receiving sex hormone therapy.
Trans persons need life-long medical support. But DCGA told him that till the time he is on medication, he will not receive clearance, The Hindu reported. Harry has been compelled to take up a delivery job with Zomato.
For him, stopping treatment is not an option.
"I can't sacrifice my identity for my profession," he told the newspaper. "I want to be able to fly as who I am."
Harry reportedly planned to move the Bombay High Court against the DGCA's refusal to grant him clearance till he is in therapy.
On social media, there was an outpouring of support for the aspiring pilot. LGTBQ community "Yes We Exist" described the DGCA's eligibility criteria as "transphobic and unscientific".
"It's a shame," an Instagram user said in response to their post about Harry. "They could have welcomed him and made history becoming the first trans man pilot in India. Instead they chose to humiliate, insult and degrade him. I hope he gets justice.""This is so unfortunate! Sending you our support! You will come out of this in literal flying colours," another user said.