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Kerala transperson makes history registering land in their own gender

Faisal Faisu at Chavakkadu sub registrar office. Image : Special Arrangement

For all these years, one had to be either a man or a woman to own a piece of land in Kerala. However, this transgender individual in Kerala has made history by becoming the first person from the transgender community to register land under their own gender identity.

It took a month-long struggle for Faisal Faisu C, 38, from Chavakkad in Thrissur, to legally register 4.25 cents of land, not as a man or woman but as a trans person. Faisal Faisu’s relentless fight to change the prevailing norms in land registration paid off when the State IT Cell added a column for transgender individuals in the land registration document, enabling individuals from the transgender community to register lands in their own gender identity.

Faisal Faisu accomplished this by evoking the provisions under the new Transgender Policy of the Kerala Government. Faisu decided to fight for land registration under the new policy after realising that members of the transgender community were compelled to identify themselves under the male category during registration, regardless of being transwomen or trans men. This discrepancy extended to properties allocated to transgender individuals under the Kerala Government’s Life Mission project, all of which were registered under the ‘male’ category.

Faisal Faisu chose to contest the existing prevailing practice of categorising transgender individuals under the conventional male or female columns during land registration. “I decided to buy 4.25 cents of land in Kadappuram village in Chavakkad in November. Upon submitting the sale deed for registration, I discovered that only two gender options were available – male or female. So, I approached the authorities concerned. I couldn’t accept that, as I wanted the property to be owned in my identity,” Faisu told “Open Digest“.

Faisu contacted the Social Justice department of Thrissur district and later took up the issue with the District Registrar and the State IT cell. After a month of tireless follow-ups, Faisu finally received a confirmation call on December 18 from the District Registrar’s office, conveying the official addition of a new column for transgender individuals by the State IT Cell. “I was happy, and I could register the land on December 20, 2023. Now I have a property in my name and identity,” Faisu added.

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