Anannyah Kumari Alex, Kerala's first-ever transgender radio presenter, was recently found dead just days after her gender confirmation surgery.
YouTuber and journalist Heidi Saadiya heard the devastating news about her friend just a day before her birthday. She told VICE World News: "I always get together on my birthday with my sisters and friends, especially Anannyah. She's more of a sister to me than my own siblings. Instead, I got a big shock."
On July 20th, Heidi found out that Anannyah had been found dead in her apartment in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Anannyah's is not a Suicide that can be dismissed lightly; rather a complex Systemic Murder.
On July 20th 2021, transgender activist Anannyah Kumari Alex (28) was found dead by suicide in her flat in Kochi, Ernakulam. ( 1/9 )#TransRightsAreHumanRights #queerlivesmatter pic.twitter.com/1Jd6eIvFpk
— AISA Kerala (@AISA_Keralam) July 21, 2021
As well as being Kerala's first trans radio presenter, Anannyah was also a professional makeup artist, a news anchor, and the state's first transgender candidate elected to join legislative assembly elections.
Days before her death, Anannyah told The Cue that she became a victim of "gross medical negligence" during her gender confirmation surgery last June. "My private part looks like a piece of meat," she said. "I want to conduct a re-surgery. I want justice."
But Anannyah's friends and family are calling her death "institutional murder."
"We're waiting for the postmortem report and analysis from the police officials," said Saadiya. "She had achieved so much and dedicated her life to equality and justice. But her surgery had made her body very weak. She was unable to function properly."
Anannyah had been talking about the complications she experienced following her surgery on social media. In one news interview with Mathrubhumi, Anannyah said the Renai Medicity doctors, where she got her surgery, "slashed [her] body here and there."
Listen to Anannyah speak about her botched surgery at Renai Medicity Hospital just days before she was found dead in her flat. #JusticeForAnannyah#StopTransphobiaInHealthcarehttps://t.co/I51JdyJ05d
— kunjila mascillamani (@kunjila) July 21, 2021
The day after Anannyah's death, the LGBTQ+ community held a protest outside the private hospital. And on July 22nd, hundreds turned up to honor her at her cremation service.
The LGBTQ+ organization Queerythm told VICE World News that they filed 2 complaints against the hospital soon after news of Anannyah's death.
Prijith PK, the president of Queerythm, said Anannyah was the victim of "organized exploitation in the name of sex reassignment surgery."
"There are international protocols on treatment of transgender bodies, but cases like Anannyah's show serious lapses and negligence in our country. There are financial interests in these surgeries, too," Prijith told VICE World News. "This is why trans bodies are experiments for doctors."
Renai Medcity has since acquitted Anannyah's doctors of any medical negligence. In an email statement to VICE World News, the hospital said Anannyah's "intestinal obstruction" is "a known sex reassignment surgery complication," and she underwent the procedure and "weeks-long counseling."
"She was satisfied with the treatment at the time of discharge and complained only 6-7 months later about the surgically implanted body parts and some urinal problems," the statement continued.
Prijith said the local community is forming an action council. "We also submitted a series of proposals to issue a state treatment protocol and start sex reassignment surgery units in government hospitals, which can be more secure for trans people," he said.
"We will not rest until Anannyah gets justice," he added.
Rest in Peace, Anannyah.