Vol. 5 No. 1 (2023): Volume 5, Issue 1, Year 2023

Identities of Transgender People in Ancient Tamil Literature

Chellamuthu M
Department of Tamil, Arulmigu Kalasalingam College of Arts and Science, Anand Nagar, Krishnan Koil, Virudhunagar – 626126, Tamil Nadu, India

Published 2023-02-21


  • Tholkappiyam,
  • Transgender,
  • Thirukkural,
  • Naaladiyaar,
  • Sanga Ilakkiyam

How to Cite

M, C. (2023). Identities of Transgender People in Ancient Tamil Literature. International Research Journal of Tamil, 5(1), 74-85. https://doi.org/10.34256/irjt23111

Plum Analytics


In human society, it is natural to see two genders, male and female. It is somewhat surprising that the work of transgender people, who can be called the third gender, is somewhat surprising. In the Mahabharatam, the story of the birth of a transsexual is extended. In nature's creation, we find these people incarnated as transsexuals in practical life. The records of transgenders can be found in abundance in Sangam literary grammar. Transgender people, who have been marginalized in society, are denied the right to participate in public. Transgenders living in small groups in the human community have been ridiculed as "identityless." This is the situation today. In the Sangam literary records, their identity has been recognized socially. It can be said that their contribution to the level of education is low. Transgenders, who are marginalized people, are more likely to be rejected at all levels. Since they lacked the right to education, there was no context in grammatical and literary fiction in which the pedis (hermaphrodites), the transgenders, could register their right to life. No one comes forward to help in public, fearing that if they raise their voice for them, they will be respected as untouchables in society. This denial is also a contemporary phenomenon. As a result, it is necessary to compile how third-gender identities are recorded in the literary field. Transgenders, also known as hermaphrodites, exist as records in literary life. The location of such people's lives is clearly visible in grammatical and literary fiction.


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