The 2011 census gave 4.9 lakhs as the official count of the ‘third gender’ in India. Transgender activists estimate the numbers to be six to seven times higher. Of the total number of transgender persons (the term includes persons with intersex variations) identified by the census, almost 55,000 are in the 0-6 population – indicating that many parents are identifying their children as belonging to the ‘third’ gender.
Despite the large number of people identifying as LGBTQIA+, almost all continue to face psychological, social as well as medical discrimination and most individuals are systematically denied their rights by their family, teachers, doctors and society at large.
Enfold believes that all individuals have equal rights, including the right to safety and dignity. Biological and social factors are thought to determine one’s gender identity and orientation. The inner sense of one’s gender identity arises in early childhood. The child has little control or choice over this sense which later, with the onset of puberty, begins to include a sense of one’s sexual orientation. The misconception that this inner sense is a choice or that it can be ‘altered/ changed/ cured’ is at the heart of discrimination and violence against children and adults whose gender and sexual expression and/or bodies are different from the existing social norms or don’t fit the binary mould. Enfold includes a discussion on these issues in all its sessions on sexuality education from std 8 onwards. We strive to be sex-positive, gender-sensitive and queer-affirming. We avoid the use of sexual binary and gendered language as far as possible.
Activities of Enfold in the area of empowerment of sexual minorities include:
The Value: Enfold’s sessions on sexual diversity offer a scientific, empowering explanation and foster respect and acceptance of our differences. In this way we believe we help foster a healthy society
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