India’s first trans pilot banned from flying for six months after gender dysphoria diagnosis
The first transgender person in India known to become a pilot has been banned from flying for six months because of his gender dysphoria diagnosis.
Adam Harry, 21, who gained his private pilots license at Skylark Aviation Academy in Johannesburg, shot to fame as India’s first known trans pilot.
But he’s now been pronounced unfit to fly for the next six months.
In a March 18 letter from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s Medical Assessment Board, Harry was told he can’t fly until a fresh medical appointment clears him.
“What they are trying to state here is that gender dysphoria is an illness,” Harry said, according to The New Indian Express.
“I had to go through countless painful procedures to get a medical certificate in the first place. As they had asked, I had handed in letters from my psychiatrist and endocrinologist to prove my physical fitness,” he added.
“As I am a transgender individual, I have quite a difficult time obtaining my medical certificates and tests.
“There are lot of misconceptions and generalisations that the doctors and medical authority of DGCA function on.
“They will never sway on this subject and I don’t think it’ll change unless the authorities make a conscious effort to learn more about transgender medical conditions.
“In other countries, they have a proper guideline for issuing medical certificates for transgender pilots.”
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Harry, who’s from Thrissur in the southern Indian state of Kerala, left his hometown at the age of 19 to escape transphobic attacks, having already qualified as a pilot.
He went to Kochi, a port city two hours further south on the Keralan coast.
Then, local media reported that he was the first trans pilot and as a result he gained recognition from government officials.
The state government funded him to pursue his education, which included completing a three-year commercial pilot training course.
After this, he became the first trans commercial pilot in the country.
Despite this, the authorities now taken his pilots license away.
“Gender issues are extremely misunderstood in our country,” Harry said.
“Transgender individuals voices are easily trampled upon. I will fight for justice no matter what it takes.”