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Legally decriminalised LGBT community continues to battle societal taboo

Written by Puja Saraf

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) is a community who is struggling for rights on humanitarian grounds for a decade now. Their hardships may slowly come to rest with the steps taken by the Government of India (GOI). Back in 2018, the abortion of Section 377 of the Indian penal code gave a ray of hope to the community that Justice will be served to them.

We at The Optimist News talked to Koyel Ghosh, a core member of Sappho for Equality, a Kolkata based organisation providing a platform for the LGBT community members, to gain insights about the prevailing situation.

According to Ghosh, India, as a country, is taking strong steps to normalize the community’s existence and include them with respect in official and administrative matters. However, Koyel believes that the journey is way too long.

Many steps are being taken actively to normalize the lives of LGBT community in India

“As Section 377 has been decriminalized, a person from LGBT community is no more a criminal. This is a decisive step taken by the GoI,” said Ghosh.

“In 2019 Transgender Persons ( Protection of Rights) Act came into being, but the problem with the act is kind of exclusionary. If anyone goes through the act carefully there are lots of clauses that are not trans-friendly. There are certain measures taken by the progressive government. However, there is a lot more which needs to be done for now.” she adds.

Getting acceptance in society still remains a challenge for the community. While the law has been enforced, Koyel thinks the human mindsets still need to be broadened. Humans should be on the same page, being able to share their point of view without a threat. That will be a truly gender equal society.

For the community benefits, Sappho for Equality is partnering with the government and various stakeholders in trying its level best to provide gender justice in society.

The mission for Sappho for Equality is to establish gender justice in society

“Our Mission is to find gender justice in society and we are looking at a society where people are not marginalized or violated on the grounds of their gender and sexual orientation. We are trying to implement this through our various activities in alignment with the government and other stakeholders so that the community feels less out of space,” informed Ghosh.

The organisation’s mission is to find a gender-equal society, where everybody has their right to live a life without discrimination. Undeterred in its mission, Sappho for Equality is challenging deeply entrenched narratives of the society, breaking one stereotype at a time.

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Puja Saraf

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