IGNORING FEMALE BORN SEXUAL MINORITIES
You do not have to build peace,
it is already in our world
but men do not allow peace to flow because of injustice
When you see injustice …
Silence must not be an option…
One of the inalienable rights of mankind is the right to his or her sexuality as the case may be, nature gives everyone the right of choice, not even the creator challenges man as regards rights but unfortunately the desire to control other has given some privileged men and women the right to dominate and other men the audacity to control fellow men even on personal issues such as who or what I want to be or look like.
After an eight hour session with Prof. Shekhar Seshadri an expert on Child Sexual Abuse and Sexuality, it was easy to come to term with the fact that transgender, homosexual lesbianism cannot be learnt, it is biological, no one can make a decision to be one as it is not possible to make a decision to be either male of female too. We came to the conclusion of meeting the sexual minority group known as Sangama. Prof. Seshadri is one of the Board members of Sangama and initiating the meeting was effortless.
She is a human rights activist whose area of intervention is minority sexual rights, she began her work in an informal group of women and men in 1998 and emerged as a more organized group in 2000 when the group took a definite rights based approach to the issue of sexual minorities. This approach emphasized a caste, class, gender perspective recognition of the interlocking of these oppressions and identities. The constituency is largely poorer, Non English speaking Hijras, Kothis, double-deckers, lesbian, bisexual, female born transgender.
Presently, she is working directly or indirectly with more than six thousand sexual minorities in Karnakata state only, she is Shubha Choka.
It has nor being a bed of roses, there are challenges as expected according to Shubha because many people have not really accept the realization of sexual orientation and anatomical ambiguity, which have caused many people to remain homophobic or transphobic. Change is not magic, it is gradual and dynamic, patience is the answer, very soon everyone will understand the rights of every human being to remain who they are and not to be socialized into what the society demands.
One of the major challenges facing this group in India is stigmatization which has so much caused loss of identity and lack of access to HIV treatment amongst others, just as if other heterosexual beings do not contract HIV, may sexual minorities are denied treatment because none of their family members would want to identify with them and it is required that they can access treatment when accompanied by a family member.
In actuality, the government in Bangalore municipality has initiated a programme recently and some other governmental departments are looking into issues of HIV but money did not come to the deserving Dalits transgender because it is a cross caste, most of the affected people are from backward caste.
Shubha went further to reveal that the sexual minorities that are lesbian do not have any space at all, they are not included as high risk, the female born are totally neglected even several groups that intervene in the area of sexual minority are also guilty, “it is a key issue to be addressed within the movement” she said. She spoke passionately about police brutality towards the group members, though it is reducing but cannot be denied, as they still cope with the bigger challenge in the sex work, no one is ready to fight oppression and exploitation and some of these people are forced into sex work because they are not absorbed in the mainstream sector.
She smiled broadly when prompted to comment on the achievements so far, she mentioned the positive role the media began to play recently because Sangama can input and negotiate some stories from the media. Furthermore, she said “there is a recent judgment in Delhi which all British colonies abide with, it is the law criminalizing sodomy, any carnal intercourse against the order of nature is a crime, so any penetration by the penis not the vagina is a crime, technically it could be used against heterosexual but now only homosexuals, which is a way of telling them that what they are committing a crime also instilling fear, blackmailing them in order to deny them of their rights as not equal citizens". The Delhi High Court ruled this on July 2, 2009 and it allows for consensual sex between same sexes, it is section 377 of the India Penal Code. These evidences show that with persistence, injustice will no longer reign in our world.