India's first transgender celebrates birthday

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New Delhi, May 8 (ANI): Rose Venkatesan, India's first transgender to become a television host celebrated her first birthday as a woman.

Thirty-year-old Rose underwent a sex-change surgery in March this year in Thailand to officially become a woman.

An engineering graduate with two post graduate degrees from a US university, Rose was forced out of her home because her parents disapproved of her cross-dressing and sissy mannerism in lifestyle, which in her words were 'girlie ways'.

"In India, transgender people are looked down upon. They are removed from society. Their basic survival, sources of income and everything are removed and they are forced to a pathetic life," said Rose.

"I think this is so not only in India but in most parts of the world. So transgender people are forced to live a very terrible life from the very beginning of their childhood," she added describing her early days.

She travelled to Bangkok for sex change since she reckoned Thailand as the ideal place for such critical surgeries.

"Recently I went for the sex change on March 18, 2010 in Thailand, which is where I always wanted to do the surgery because I think that's where they do it perfectly. I had the money, time and right knowledge to go to Thailand," said Rose Venkatesan.

"I went and underwent my sex change and then returned and then I was bed ridden for almost two- three weeks. Officially I am the first sex-changed celebrity of India," she added with a note of pride.

Rose, who works as a multimedia designer in Tamil Nadu, had hosted a popular talk show that discusses various issues like child abuse, discrimination, taboos, phobias and syndromes, besides sexuality.

She is also planning a film based on her life.

Rose also has plans to direct and act in the movie, to be made in English and Tamil. (ANI)

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