Institute of Public Policy and Politics Organises: Engaging with Diversity: LGBT*QIA+for Activists 

The Context

Discrimination and violence on the basis of gender and sexuality is common in the world we live in. Lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender persons are targets of violence and crimes for simply being themselves. These experiences and voices often go unheard. Furthermore, violations of rights are widespread and are often justified by political and religious leaders too, as an important cornerstone to safeguard moral and social order.

LGBT*QIA + expands to Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Trans*/Queer/Intersex/Asexual, and the “+” indicates that there are still a variety of identities that exist around us. LGBT*IQA+ persons are attributed all kinds of negative qualities connected with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. They are attributed erroneous beliefs, religious condemnation, suspicion, shame and hatred. This worldview is often upheld by the State, community and family leading to self-repression. The LGBT*IQA+ community is hence more vulnerable to negative consequences that impact their health, safety, and economy. Further, intersections of identities such as gender, sexuality/sexual orientation, class, caste, and socio-economic status play into individuals’ unique lived experiences compounding the discrimination and stress they face.

Social activists, social organizations and the development sector, which aim to work primarily around issues of social justice, though sensitive are not immune to such behavior, structures, policies and programs.

About the Workshop

With the above context in mind, Nazariya and Sambhaavnaa are organizing a workshop, especially aimed at people working in the social sector, to enable not only awareness of LGBT*QIA+ issues, but also a more holistic understanding of gender and sexuality issues.

While it is important to avoid slurs, derogatory terms, and stereotypes at all times, a comprehensive understanding of the subject is vital for social activists to be particularly mindful of our actions and words, know what to look out for and design more inclusive spaces and interventions.

The workshop intends to:

  1. Getting the basics right: The term LGBT*QIA+ first brings to mind sexual orientation or sexual identity. While addressing questions about sexual orientation is a big component, it is not the only one. This term includes diverse gender identities in addition to sexual orientations. This workshop will attempt to delineate the difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity and its relevance in understanding the social reality and marginalization faced by the community.
  2. Enhancing workplace diversity and inclusivity: Given that voices of the LGBT*QIA people is often unheard, it is characteristic that even within the social sector, many organizations are not entirely aware of issues faced by people who are marginalized on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. If unaddressed, such ignorance could lead to homophobic or transphobic work cultures. This leads to an unhealthy environment that often forces queer people to continue concealing their identity, creating stress and/or coercion to leave their job when confronted about their identity. Such situations inadvertently compromise on the value of social justice, which is core for any organization in the social sector.   This workshop will aim at encouraging participants to examine and rethink about the representation of queer people in their workspaces, stereotypes about queer people, language patterns, policies and about how a more welcoming and inclusive work environment can be created.
  3. Identifying blind spots or inadequacies in our interventions: More often than not, organizational policies are made on the basis of a hetero-centric approach. Programmes on gender based violence, for instance, target only straight/heterosexual and married women; or recruitment policies focus on hiring women to ensure workplace diversity. A more nuanced understanding of gender and sexuality is required to talk about and address issues faced by men, transwomen, transmen, unmarried, lesbian, and bisexual women, thereby making programmes more inclusive. Comprehending these nuances will also enable us to see how our livelihood programmes cater to only one type of family thereby leaving aside families which do not fit into the hetero-normative framework, such as single women families, families of Hijra people, families without male earners, etc.

This workshop will try to engage participants to delve into these nuances, identify blind spots and gaps in existing interventions and creatively ideate on ways of building more inclusive programmes and interventions.

 The key questions that this workshop will engage with are:

  • What is the difference between gender and sexuality, between identity and sexual orientation?
  • What are the various identities encompassing the LGBT*IQA+ umbrella?
  • What are the socio-political, legal and economic issues faced by the LGBT*IQA+ people in our country?
  • How can one be sensitive towards people marginalized on the basis of gender/sexuality?
  • What are the small changes one can make in their organization’s structures, programs, and training modules to incorporate the realities of LGBT*IQA+ people?
  • What are legal measures available for people with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations in India?
  • How can we work with LGBT*IQA communities?
  • How we can create a network to work on these issues together?

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for people working in the development and social sector. It is also open to anyone else who is interested to learn about and work on issues of gender and sexuality in their work and/or living spaces.

Basic knowledge of the concepts of gender and feminism amongst participants is desired, though not necessary.

Pedagogy of the workshop

The workshop will be conducted via facilitated interactive sessions that deploy audio-visual material (films clips and images) about LGBT*IQA lives, real life case studies, activities that will help reflect on the concepts introduced in the workshop and on notions of LGBT*IQA people, and handouts on basic definitions, myths, facts, and available legal provisions.

About​ ​Nazariya

Nazariya was formed in October 2014 by a group of four queer feminist activists to sensitize the work and culture of groups and individuals working on issues of gender based violence, livelihoods, education and health from a queer perspective through research & evaluations, capacity building and advocacy.

Facilitators’​ ​profiles:

Rituparna Borah is a queer feminist activist with over 10 years of experience of working on issues gender and sexuality. She is a co-founder and co-director of Nazariya where she is responsible for networking, fund raising, programme and organizational development and implementation. She joined Nirantar in 2007, where she was extensively involved in planning and conducting trainings on sexuality with organizations, collectives, rural communities, gender trainers, lawyers, students and government officials.

Ritambhara Mehta has over 7 years of experience in working on education, gender, and sexuality. Her expertise lies in the area of Project Management including project development, project implementation, monitoring, and reporting. She is a co-founder and co-director of Nazariya – a queer feminist resource group working on issues of gender and sexuality in Delhi. Her key responsibilities at Nazariya include inter-alia, conducting trainings on issues of gender and sexuality with school and college students, and employees of organizations working on issues of gender based violence, health, education, and livelihoods.

Language: A combination of Hindi and English.

Dates: 17th to 19th November, 2017.

Venue:  Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

Contact: For more information please call 889 422 7954 or email: programs@sambhaavnaa.org

Program Contribution:  The contribution amount is Rs. 2,500 for  three days including workshop materials, food and accommodation.  Do not let money be an impediment to applying.  Need based waivers are available. Please ask for a waiver in the application form if you feel you need and deserve it.  

Getting to Sambhaavnaa: 

http://www.sambhaavnaa.org/contact/how-to-reach-us/

Sambhaavna

Village Kandbari, Tehsil Palampur District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh 176061 India

Phone: +91 889 422 7954
E-mail:
Website: www.sambhaavnaa.org

For more details open the link  below 

http://www.sambhaavnaa.org/programs/engaging-with-diversity-lgbtqia-for-activists-17-19-nov17/

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