Transgender Bollywood star sues for divorce after alleged assault

Bobby Darling and her husband (Photo: Facebook)

Transgender Bollywood star and TV celebrity, Bobby Darling, is seeking a divorce from her husband at a court in Bandra, western India.

She claims he assaulted her and is seeking nearly US$300,000 in alimony, according to local media.

But, her husband is questioning the validity of their marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Darling became one of India’s most prominent transgender people in 2005. She appeared on popular reality TV show Big Boss.

Her husband’s lawyer is now arguing that the marriage is null and void because Darling did not disclose her gender affirming surgery prior to the wedding in 2015, according to News18.com

‘According to the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, the marriage takes place between the groom and the bride. Marriage takes place between a male and a female and not between a transgender, who converts into a woman, and a man’ lawyer G J Ramchandani told News 18.

Darling’s lawyers have countered that, at the time of the marriage, Darling’s identity documents declared her as female.

‘It is clearly a double standard, which should be objected to’ Darling’s lawyers told News 18.

‘If you say she is not your wife, she is not a woman then return her property. But he doesn’t want to do that’.

Police arrested Darling’s husband in May 2018 after she reported him for domestic violence, according to News 18.

Trans rights in India

India’s Supreme Court in 2014 recognized trans identities as a third gender.

But, the community remains marginalized. Families and employers shun trans individuals.

What’s more, activists have slammed a trans rights bill currently in the Upper House of Parliament. They say it further infringes rights rather than protects them.

But, the last few months have seen high visibility for trans individuals.

Last month, India’s first Miss Trans Queen joined one of the country’s largest political parties.

Earlier this year, the same party appointed its first transgender office-bearer.

Trans gurus also made history earlier this year by leading a religious procession.

Violence continues, however. One trans politician running for office in Hyderabad went missing during her election campaign.

Last month, a man decapitated a trans priestess in her temple.

Author: Rik Glauert

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Award-winning gay Indian feature film screening on Netflix

Evening Shadows is now showing on Netflix (Photo: Twitter)

One of India’s first LGBTI-themed feature-length films, Evening Shadows, is now streaming on Netflix.

Evening Shadows tells the story of a young man coming out to his mother in a small town in southern India.

Director Sridhar Rangayan crowd-funded most of the finances for the film.

Throughout 2018 it had a successful festival run, showing at 55 international festivals and picking up 16 awards.

‘Evening Shadows has been touching hearts and creating a very important bridge between LGBTQ communities and their families across the world’ said Rangayan.

‘We are happy to continue not only its film festival run, but also continue to explore its exhibition at mainstream platforms’.

Section 377

Earlier this year, it also became the first LGBTI-themed movie released in theaters following decriminalization of gay sex.

India’s Supreme Court in September last year ruled the country’s ban on gay sex was unconstitutional.

The film also went on to show in San Francsico.

Evening Shadows stars Mona Ambegaonkar, Ananth Mahadevan, Devansh Doshi and Arpit Chaudhary.

What’s more, the film includes the song Surmaee Shaam, composed and sung by eminent musician Shubha Mudgal.

One viewer on Twitter described it as a ‘beautiful movie’ that they ‘instantly connected with’.

Author: Rik Glauert

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