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Transgenders to enter politics

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SENSITISATION: Director of ‘Sahodari’ Kalki speaking at a workshop for mediapersons on LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) community in Coimbatore on Saturday. —
SENSITISATION: Director of ‘Sahodari’ Kalki speaking at a workshop for mediapersons on LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) community in Coimbatore on Saturday. —

Staff Reporter

Coimbatore: For raising voice that needs to be heard for getting recognition, identity and social acceptance, transgenders will soon step into politics, said Kalki, Founder-Director of Sahodari Foundation.

She was talking to reporters at a special seminar for Media on LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual and Transgender) issues, organised by the Foundation in association with Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS. The foundation aims at advocacy for the cause of transgenders to gain acceptance and identity in society is focusing now more on Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Kalki said that despite having the status of 100 per cent literacy, the society continues to tease, neglect and isolate transgenders.

Transgenders were an invisible minority community who were by birth male and live the life of a woman.

They were not suffering from any disease or ailment and the World Health Organisation had already made it clear. Unfortunately the medical fraternity was either refusing or failing to understand and acknowledge the fact.

The advocacy programmes were to reach out to the people. There were evidences of transgenders even in history and mythology. She expressed dismay over the social rejection of transgenders and attempts to abuse them physically and monetarily. For fear of social rejection and contempt, there were many transgenders and people with lesbian, gay and bisexual sexual orientation not willing to speak up. Such practices were only sexual orientations and not a disease.

Debates

The debates after the High Court striking down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code had led to healthy arguments and a platform on which LGBT were able to speak out their opinion. Kalki also pointed out that a matrimonial website thirunangai.net had received enormous appreciation for the brave, bold initiative as well as marriage proposals.

However to sustain the initiative and get an identity, transgenders will be entering politics as a community could achieve it only through political platform.

Kalki said that transgenders would fight the local body as well as the next Assembly elections. While the Welfare Board for Transgenders was expected to bring in good for the community, both socially and economically, identity card was a major problem.

Because of the discrimination, housing seems to be a major problem for the transgenders because of the social boycott.

In Chennai, there was a short stay home and the government had allotted Rs. 1 crore for the group housing scheme.

She thanked the government for performing free sex reassignment surgeries for 30 transgenders and pointed out that more than 500 were in the waiting list.

A senior citizens home for transgenders was also the need, she said. V. Daniel Vinod Kumar, State Programme Manager for Centre for Advocacy and Research, Trainer Raju and Sahodari activists Thenmozhi and Sowmya spoke.

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