India court gives police protection to US transgender man

Image caption Shivy, 18. says his parents tried to forcibly marry him off to a man in India

An Indian court has given police protection to a transgender man from the US.

Shivy, 18, who prefers to be identified by his first name, is an Indian citizen but has been living in the US since the age of three.

He has alleged that his parents tricked him into coming to India on holiday and then took away his passport and green card.

He says that they then tried to forcibly marry him off to a man.

His parents have refused to comment on the allegations.

Shivy, who was born female but identifies as male, told BBC Hindi that his parents brought him to the north Indian city of Agra to "fix" him, once they found out that he had a girlfriend.

"They took away my mobile phone and laptop even while we were in America, but I still never imagined then that our annual holiday to India in July would have any other motive," he said.

The Delhi High Court termed the alleged harassment as nothing short of "bigotry" and said that India was a land of tolerance.

Transgender activists and the support group Nazariya arranged legal counsel and shelter for Shivy in Delhi after he ran away from Agra earlier this month.

Shivy has alleged in his petition that his father and some unknown men posing as police officers came to the residence of the activists who helped him, adding that he fears for their, and his own, safety.

He has asked the Delhi High Court to help him get his passport and green card back so that he can return to the United States where he is pursuing a neurobiology course at the University of California.

The Delhi High Court has asked his parents and state police to respond to the allegations.

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