IDAHOT Report 2016: India

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India has this year seen an incredible range of activities in support of IDAHOT 2016. As well as public actions, workshops and campaigns there have been a number of actions targeting important issues on a national level.
Throughout May LGBT health group the Humsafar Trust ran a special project focused on addressing mental health stigma surrounding LGBT people in India. The ‘Queers Against Quacks’ project targeted health practitioners, academics and policy makers promoting pseudoscience and discriminatory practices. The campaign also hoped to raise awareness of stigma, discrimination and damaging practices like so-called ‘conversion therapies’ that exist in India.
By ‘naming and shaming’ damaging practices the group have also hoped their campaign will foster a public discourse over mental health and wellbeing within the LGBT community.
Also on a national scale a coalition of Indian campaigns, Feminism in India, GaysiFamily, Gaylaxy and Orinam, joined for a Tweet-chat on May 17, in which they encouraged public discourse and helped dispel a number of damaging attitudes and opinions through questions and discussion.
The chat specifically focused on such issues as prevention of and crisis response to violence arising from LGBTIQ*-phobias, tackling intra-community phobias and prejudice, goals of India’s queer movements, allyship, peer education, and solidarity with other social justice movements in the country.
Pro-LGBT group Love4All addressed homo/trans/biphobia across the country with a special cartoon released for IDAHOT 2016. The video, ‘Let’s Fight Homophobia’, discusses various discrimination faced by the LGBT community, and how damaging perceptions can lead to marginalisation.
In Hyperabad, local LGBT activists held an event to promote diversity and tolerance in local community, which also hoped to highlight some of the issues faced by LGBT Indians.
In Maharashta, GAURAV (Greater Action for Unity Rights Advocacy and Visibility) launched an online campaign focusing on men who have sex with men, and transgender/LGB sex workers. The campaign included the provision of training on sex-related issues, as well as a photography and social media campaign aimed at raising awareness of various issues. The group also planned street performances and public campaigns in Mumbai aimed at tackling discriminatory attitudes towards the LGBT community.

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