Programme on sexual orientation and gender identity

Project DIVA Mumbai with the Humsafar trust, UNDP supported by the global fund conducted ‘sub-national/state issues on sexual orientation and gender identity, MSM and transgender population, HIV, health and human rights’ at Hotel Vivor, Friday.

The key objectives of the programme were-to help establish a network of media professionals with up to date knowledge on HIV, MSM, sexual minorities, sexual diversity and human rights, media advocacy for enhanced coverage of MSM and sexual minorities in national AIDS response, Media advocacy against marginalisation of sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and enhanced and informed media coverage aimed at building favourable public opinion aimed at social inclusion, reduced stigma and deeper understanding of sexual diversity.

Speaking as the resource person, the Humsafar trust advocacy officer, Sonal Giani stressed on the importance to understand the social, religious, financial and health care stigma meted out to transgender and homosexuality. She also cautioned on the misuse of Article 377 by police to extort money.

Highlighting the notions on homosexuality, Sonal Giani said that homosexuality is considered mental disorder or sin but “homosexuality comes naturally” and if forced to change could lead to mental problem.

The programme consisted of three parts- sex, sexuality and gender, issues and journalism and media. The resource persons were team DIVA Anand Ishware, PD NSACS Dr Watikala and Sonal Giani.

by Kohima
Source – Nagaland Post