Sexual diversity

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:

  • Work with School and College Students – Since young minds are the best receivers of new ideas and open to critical thinking, Enfold discusses the development, variations and diversity in sexual and reproductive systems, sexual orientation and gender identity from std 8 onwards. We also discuss the myths and facts associated with the LGBTQIA+ community and help students develop empathy by narrating real-life examples.
  • Collaboration with specific NGOs that work for LGBTQIA+ community. Enfold takes participants of its courses to interact with the community members and invites members of the community to conduct interactive sessions.
  • Participation in Pride Event – Enfold has and continues to participate in Pride events
  • Corporate Support – Enfold helps Companies draft their Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policies to be gender neutral, and create an inclusive environment for their employees. Enfold faculty conducts sessions for employees who are looking for support, guidance and information in this area, or are welcoming a colleague from the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Counselling and Coordinating with Counselling/Medical Institutions – Dr Sangeeta Saksena provides psycho-social support to individuals and their families undergoing / contemplating transition. Dr Shaibya Saldanha provides gynaecological and other medical support to individuals undergoing transition.
  • 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

    Please contact info@enfoldindia.org if you would like our programs to be conducted at your organization or if need our support.