Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as ‘third gender’ #Goodnews

 

1. Recognition of third gender.
2. Recognition of people who identify in the opposite sex based on self-identification. Includes female identifying as male and male identifying as female.
3. Non-recognition of gender identity amounts to discrimination under Arts  14, 15 and 16.
4. Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity amounts to discrimination on the ground of sex under Art  15.
5. No SRS required for recogntition of gender identity.
6. Persons gender identity based on their choice is protected under the constitution.
7. A series of directions have been given to the Centre and States based on the above.

 

lgbt1

lgbt1

,TNN | Apr 15, 2014,

NEW DELHI: In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday created the “third gender” status for hijras or transgenders. Earlier, they were forced to write male or female against their gender.The SC asked the Centre to treat transgender as socially and economically backward.The apex court said that transgenders will be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.

The SC said absence of law recognizing hijras as third gender could not be continued as a ground to discriminate them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment.

This is for the first time that the third gender has got a formal recognition. The third gender people will be considered as OBCs, the SC said.

The SC said they will be given educational and employment reservation as OBCs.

The apex court also said states and the Centre will devise social welfare schemes for third gender community and run a public awareness campaign to erase social stigma.

The SC said the states must construct special public toilets and departments to look into their special medical issues.

The SC also added that if a person surgically changes his/her sex, then he or she is entitled to her changed sex and can not be discriminated.


“Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue,” the court said today, asking the Centre to treat transgenders as “socially and economically backward”, to enable them to get reservations in jobs and education.”Transgenders are also citizens of India. It is the right of every human being to choose their gender. The spirit of the Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizens to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender,” the court said.The case was filed in 2012 by a group of petitioners including prominent eunuch and activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi seeking equal rights for the transgender population under the law.

The court expressed concern at the discrimination and said the Centre and states must work to raise awareness and end any perceived stigma. This ruling comes four months after the same court reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex, in a widely criticised decision.

Gay sex had been effectively legalised in 2009 when the Delhi High Court ruled that a section of the penal code prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” was an infringement of fundamental rights.

Former Election Commission SY Quraishi said, “When the Election Commission recognised transgender as the ‘other’ gender besides male and female, one million of them got empowered. The Supreme Court has endorsed it.”

The Election Commission had issued voters’ cards for the first time to transgenders last year.

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I am gay. I am married to a woman. This is my story.#LGBTQ #Sec377

by Ravi K.

 

It is now time to turn, like the sunflower, towards the sun. — Namdeo Dhassal On 11/12/13, when the Supreme Court’s order recriminalising homosexuality flashed on TVs, I felt a cold sweat. I shivered. But I had no difficulty hiding it from my colleagues in the newsroom. After all, I have been hiding my gayness — yes, I am gay — for many years. It was no big deal. But then something started ringing inside and there was a dull pain that intensified over the next few days. Secrecy is sin.

For many years, I committed that. Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected the review petition as well. The order recriminalising gay sex declared silence is sin too. The urge to speak up was stronger than ever before. So I say this. I am gay. I am married to a woman. It has been a remorse-filled 12 years, traversing two entirely different worlds – one fake and the other original but secret. This is my story. Here I lay it bare, though not in its entirety.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

My life in mirrors

Where do I start from? There are many starting points. Once I accepted myself as gay and came out to my wife, many instances in life, which remained suspended for no reason, fell in place for both of us. Now when I look back, the picture is clearer. As a child, even before I went to school, I loved dressing up like a girl. Once my parents went to work and my brother and sister went to school, my grandmother looked after me. Left to myself the whole day, my favourite time-pass was dressing up as a girl. I did not enjoy the company of other kids, unless they were girls. My best friend was a girl in the neighbourhood. Our companionship, however, did not last long.

As I grew up, I increasingly got worried people might find out that I am more comfortable with girls as friends. Would they start making fun of me? Probably, my friend and her parents were worried too, only that their concern most likely was her closeness to a boy. The friendship died a slow death. Around seventh grade I also started feeling attraction to the male body. There was no sex education. I did not know why this was happening.

I liked dancing. My sister was learning classical dance. I remember going to the dance class with her as a kid. Whenever left to myself, I dressed up like a girl and danced. I had no friends in the village. I enjoyed my own company more than anybody else’s. Whenever I went out, I was afraid of getting publicly ridiculed and mocked. I feared that each and every aspect of my character, my behaviour betrayed the femininity, which I desperately tried to hide. One such was my fear of crackers, which was not considered masculine. As part of festivals, when my father and brother burst crackers in front of our house, my sister and I hid inside the house. I particularly remember one incident that happened when I was four or five.

One day, when I was returning from the market, somebody burst a cracker near me. I got scared and ran, crying. After this, people started calling me “cracker”. I learned to hide my likes and dislikes in order to adjust to the society’s norms. I changed the way I walked, the way I spoke. I learnt to swing my hands in a manly way.

I did not shave my moustache, even though I strongly wished to. In my home state, a clean shaven face is considered feminine. As I started living in the make-believe masculine, macho world, I created another world for myself – a world inside mirrors. Alone, in front of mirrors, I felt comfortable. I spoke to the reflection. He was a girl. I danced, sang, enacted roles. It was liberation.

My life was in mirrors, until I came out to my wife four years ago. Growing up as Mr Cellophane As I grew up, the list of my fears also grew. The fear of homosexuals was the biggest of all. I took care not to show any sympathy or compassion for homosexuals. I kept a distance from people who were known to be homosexuals. I hated them. When I look back, now I know the fear was of myself. I was keeping a distance not from others, but from myself. The hate, too, was for myself. Along with the fears, my shell grew harder too. I kept away from the society

 I remained invisible – Mr Cellophane.

Nobody knew who the real me was. The heterosexual world never thought I could be gay. It just takes for granted that everybody is a heterosexual. My relationships were plain and colourless. Love or hate, there was no passion. My father passed away three months back. I don’t think it is just coincidental that I am writing this after his death.

I love and respect my father. He was always helpful to all and was careful not to show discrimination based on caste or religion as much as possible. But I cannot deny the fact that he was the person who inculcated masculine straightness in me right from the childhood. He staunchly believed that dance is for girls. He despised and ridiculed my femininity, my love for dance. I stopped dancing. But I failed to maintain a sporty physique as he wanted. Until he was unwell and unable to speak properly, he enquired about my work-out schedule.

When he died, I cried. I cried not only for his death, but also for a life that I unwillingly forfeited. There were a few relationships that I lived through intensely. One such was a disastrous relationship I had with a cousin brother two years elder to me.

That happened during my college days and went on for more than 10 years until I broke up. His love – blind and possessive – was a burden. I couldn’t concentrate in my studies and mostly flunked the classes. I was overcome with the guilt of incest.

For many years after I broke up, the guilt continued to haunt me, until one of the foremost sexperts in the country told me such relationships—between cousins, brothers etc—are commonplace everywhere, including in Indian families. But the guilt had pushed me to the margins. I remained there forever, jealously ogling at the celebration of life, the happiness that flowed, around me. Whenever I tried to move towards the centre, I heard my own voice, life-less. I hated it.

When, after the studies, my friends started desperately looking for jobs, I remained clueless. For a mind in constant denial, everything remains hazy. What is he, one of my professors asked. Nobody knew. I didn’t know. I had to find out and thus started my exile.

Nowhere to hide

Why did I propose to my wife? I hit a wall whenever this question comes up in my mind. Didn’t I know that I was gay at that time? Definitely I knew but I never acknowledged it. I never spoke to anybody about my confusions. There was no easy access to the internet either. I thought it was this way with many men. After marriage I found myself easily adjusting to the new life. I love cooking. Maintaining the kitchen well came to me naturally.

My wife was happy about all this as well. But it was a playhouse set up by two best friends. There were no big tiffs. We enjoyed each other’s company. For some, interestingly, we were a model couple. I want to be a husband like him, one of her friends told her once. Days passed. Whenever I thought of telling my wife about by sexual orientation, I shuddered. For her, life had thrown up a puzzle. The more we tried opening the knots, the more we tied ourselves in knots because I never told her what the real issue was. After three years I gave up, she told me in one of our long discussions after I came out to her. But we remained together, faithful to each other.

Meanwhile, her health failed. She started getting frequent asthma attacks. She was sick. Most of our nights were sleepless. There came a day when guilt overtook me. I told her. To my surprise, I saw relief flashing across her face. And over the last four years, many things have changed. She became more confident about herself. She quit her high-paying software job and decided to pursue her passion. She is healthier now and doesn’t get asthma attacks. She knows the distance that stared in our face all through the first few years of our marriage was not her mistake. Life has become a lot easier for both of us.

After I came out to her, in the last four years, we have had many discussions. We spent many nights talking, trying to find answers to the whys of life. There are no clear answers. Why did I propose to my wife? Why did I marry a woman? Why didn’t I have the guts to face myself and realise that I am gay in time? That would have saved two lives, mine and her. There are days when a cold silence descends in our house. More than sex, it is the betrayal.

My guilt and her pain. Her pain and my guilt. We support each other emotionally: forgive, try to forget and move on. When I told her about my wish to write about my experiences, she said start loving yourself seamlessly. Can I? Can I, just once, end this self-imposed exile and go back to my home state? Start all over again? Be the person I naturally am no matter how effeminate? Correct the big mistake my life has been? Love myself? Love life? Be a dancer? (When I approached Bharatanatyam gurus recently, they were excited about teaching a 42-year-old, but said they had no time. They have time only for kids.) Upon coming to Mumbai after marriage, my wife had brought with her a small notebook from her college days. Why would you hide inside yourself, she had scribbled on the opening page of the book. This one-liner haunted my conscience throughout the married life.

A world crumbles

Why am I writing this now? I could have easily continued life as if nothing has happened. The fact that I have come out to my wife has made my guilt a little lighter. The few friends to whom I came out can keep it a secret. In front of the society, I would be a heterosexual, ‘normal’. But how long? Let me narrate a story from A. K. Ramanujan’s compilation of Indian folk tales. There lived a woman with her two sons and daughters-in-law. She was harassed by all the four. She had nobody to tell her miseries to and kept everything to herself.

As a result she started putting on weight. Her sons and their wives made fun of this. Don’t eat too much, they told her. One day, overcome by pain, she walked out towards the outskirts of the village. There she saw an abandoned house and went in. She told her complaints about the first son to the first wall. It came crumbling down. Then she spoke about the first daughter-in-law to the second wall, then about the second son to the third wall and about the second daughter-in-law to the fourth wall.

By the time all the four walls came down, she had also shed the extra weight that she had put on because of the accumulated grief. To me, the four walls are the system. When they come crumbling down, we are bound to sustain some injuries. But I hope there is a beautiful world that opens up beyond the walls. I do not mean to hide myself for long.

Coming out is a gradual process and I have only begun. Slowly, but surely, people related to me will come to know. There will be serious repercussions. Many will question me. I may not have answers for all of them. But once the dust settles down, I would know who my true friends and relatives are. There will be more pain, but I am ready to endure them. After all, I am responsible for the life I lived. I take the blame and that is also my redemption – for not being true to myself and also for not opting to fight. Ravi K.is a pseudonym. He works at Firstpost.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/living/i-am-gay-i-am-married-to-a-woman-this-is-my-story-1364905.html?utm_source=ref_article

 

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#India -Posters call for gay people to face #deathpenalty #LGBT #WTFnews

Posters across India call for gay people to face death penalty Far-right Muslim group calls for anyone who supports LGBTI people, ‘homosexual terror mongers’, to be jailed for life

30 December 2013 | By Joe Morgan, Omar Kuddus, Gay star news

 

s millions of LGBTI’s sex lives in India have become illegal, one group is calling for all of these people to be killed. The Indian National Party, a far-right Muslim group, has printed posters and leaflets and distributed them across the country. It calls for capital punishment for gay sex, as well as the arrests of any person who fights for LGBTI equality.

homophobia

‘In the name of all mighty God,’ a translator told us the poster, which was spotted in Madurai – the third largest city in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu, reads. ‘OH! The Government of India! Give up legalizing homosexuality by law in the name of individual independence. ‘Change the punishment of life imprisonment for homosexuality to capital punishment. ‘OH! The Government of Tamil Nadu! Arrest the Cultural Terror Mongers who fight for homosexuality.

’ On the poster, it also includes a quote that reads ‘if a society does not destroy the evils in it, it will inevitably bear its consequences’.

Speaking to Gay Star News, an Indian gay rights activist who wished to remain anonymous said: ‘This is only the beginning. ‘With the Supreme Court saying we are criminal with Section 377, more gay people are facing death threats by the day. ‘I have heard of at least a dozen homophobic violent attacks in Delhi alone since we were recriminalized. ‘And with the Indian National Party calling for our deaths, who knows what will happen now?

‘We just have to keep fighting on.’ On 15 December, the world joined with India for a Global Day Of Rage against the Supreme Court’s decision. –

See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/posters-across-india-call-gay-people-face-death-penalty301213#sthash.vItAdiDZ.dpuf

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#India – #LGBTQ have Made More than #377 Contributions

Garam Masala

They have Made More than 377 Contributions to All Sections in India!

VIKRAM DOCTOR MUMBAI , ET

It seems like any other sandwich in the café’s display case until you notice the small label: LGBT sandwich. What’s in it, you ask. Lettuce, Gouda cheese, Basil oil and Tomato, says the person behind the counter, deadpan. LGBT also stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, a group of people that a Supreme Court bench recently dismissed as a ‘minuscule minority’ whose rights were not worth protecting. Someone at this café, part of a national chain, seems to be more supportive. I won’t name the chain to prevent this quiet gesture from gaining controversy, but if you ever see the sandwich, consider ordering it in tasty solidarity (though I wish instead of boring iceberg lettuce they had used lively, peppery arugula which would better suit the lesbians I know). Fashion is the stereotypical gay profession, but food isn’t far behind, and rather more inclusive of the rest of the alternate sexuality spectrum. LGBT people have long found sustenance, salaries and solace from all parts of the food business — as chefs, wait staff, food writers, farmers, food entrepreneurs and just cooking up multitudes of delicious meals. The Alice B Toklas Cookbook, which famously first popularised a recipe for hash brownies, is as much a memoir of Toklas’ life with her life partner, the writer Gertrude Stein. MFK Fisher, the best, most luminous of American food writers, lived for years with another woman. Lots of LGBT People in Indian Food Biz 
In one of her memoirs, she has a memorable chapter on the lusts and appetites (for oysters as much as sex) that pervaded Miss Huntington’s School for Girls where she studied in 1924.
James Beard, the guru of American gastronomy was gay, though he had to be discreet about it for most of his life. James Villas, a much younger food writer, writes in his memoirs of taking the massive Beard to a gay club for the first time, which he enjoyed, though he felt everyone there was too thin: “They just need to put some meat on their bones.” Craig Claiborne, long-time food critic for the New York Times, and one of the first to popularise Indian food in the US, was gay, as was Richard Olney, a reclusive, but influential expert on French food.Today, sexuality hardly seems an issue in the food business in the US. Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential, his entertaining exposé of high-stress restaurant life admits that kitchen swearing is often homophobic and racist, but doesn’t mean it: “We spend too much time together as an extended, dysfunctional family to care about sex, gender, preference, race or national origin.”
Several Indian-American LGBT people have made their names with food, like Preeti Mistry, who is openly lesbian, and was a chef on the Google campus before taking part in the Top Chef show. Raghavan Iyer, whose 660 Curries is one of the best written and presented big books of Indian recipes dedicated it to his late mother, to Terry Erickson, his partner of 25 years and to their son Robert who “tasted all of the recipes in this book (extraordinarily commendable when I tell you the testing happened during the fourth, fifth and sixth years of his life).”
In India, LGBT people in the food business may be less open, and this regressive ruling might force them to be even more discreet. Yet there have always been lots of LGBT people involved in Indian food, like a well-known food writer who multiple reliable sources have told me was gay, but since he lived well before the relative openness of recent years, never really came out. One of the first really stylish small restaurants I encountered in Bangalore was run by a gay couple and a lesbian chef runs some of the best restaurants in the country. I haven’t been to Salem in a while, but if I do go, I’ll make sure to eat at the Menmai Arusuvai Idli Kadai which has been set up by a transgender community group and has been such a hit they plan to start a chain.
Lathika George, in her book The Suriani Kitchen, writes about Missy, an Anglo-Indian lady famous in the Syrian-Christian community in Kerala in the 1940s for her cooking skills. She travelled, teaching how to make her delicacies and usually stayed in the local convent, since she was a devout Christian. One night when she didn’t respond to knocking at her door, a young nun peeped through the keyhole and “spied Missy hurriedly pulling a dress over her head, turning then to reveal she was actually a man.” What happened to Missy isn’t told, but her memory survives in her recipes which George passes on, like for instance Molaga Chertha Mooriyerchi Chops, steaks marinated in tamarind, jaggery and pepper.
Since many LGBT people live with families and can’t bring partners or friends home, restaurants and cafes become particularly important as places to meet. The Gaybombay support group started off 14 years back with a group of men meeting informally in McDonald’s, which had just opened in the city. It wasn’t the fast food that was the attraction, but the fact that it was cheap, easy to access and even had a nice family vibe, that mattered for a group that wanted to show that being gay wasn’t something sleazy, but just as regular as anything else.
Over the years, many restaurants, cafes and bars have hosted LGBT meetings – United Coffee House in Delhi was one of the very first – and it was heartening to hear how one Mumbai bar, after the Supreme Court decision, waived some charges that a LGBT group owed them for the event as a sign of support. Another supportive brand was Amul which did a congratulatory hoarding after the positive Delhi High Court ruling in 2009 and a commiserating one now. But as always for LGBT people, it’s the food cooked and eaten at home that has been the most important. ‘Feeding Lesbigay Families’ is a fascinating study by Christopher Carrington that studies food interactions of gay and lesbian couples in the US to show not just how similar they are to straight couples, but also to illuminate aspects of straight relationships, like the often unexpressed inequalities in food shopping, cooking and consumption. And at the start of the essay he quotes an epigram he found in the kitchen of a lesbian family: “Life’s riches other rooms adorn. But in a kitchen, home is born.”
vikram.doctor@timesgroup.com

 

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Gay Mosque Planned in Canada #LGBT

OnIslam & News Agencies

Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00

Syed Adnan Hussein is among a small group of Muslims in Halifax who want to start a mosque where gay and transgender Muslims can pray.

HALIFAX – A group of Canadian homosexuals have announced their plans to open a “unity” mosque in Halifax city in the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia, where gays, transgender and women Imams would worship openly.

“It’s not so much that they’re not welcome, but they can’t affirm that aspect of their identity,” Syed Adnan Hussein, a member of the Muslim group which wants to open the mosque, told CBC on Wednesday, December 11.

“You can be a queer but you can’t affirm your identity when you’re in a religious space like a mosque.

 

“So you couldn’t, for example, be trans. and decide that you wanted to pray on the women’s side if you looked more male.”

According to Hussein, the new unity mosque aims to gay and transgender Muslims an opportunity to be ‘themselves’.

Halifax’s planned mosque would also allow ‘women imams’ where women could lead followers in prayers.

Although there are no accurate figures of the gay or transgender Muslims in Canada‘s Nova Scotia, Hussien asserted the importance of such a place of worshipping.

“To me, creating a spiritual space where all are equal is really important because that might impact their lives outside of the spiritual arena as well,” he said.

Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada’s 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the north American country.

Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam, Christianity and all divine religions.

Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, but considers homosexual intercourse as sinful.

Un-Islamic

Muslim scholars in Canada’s Halifax have slammed the idea of the gay mosque as contradicting with the Islamic teachings.

“What the Qur’an says clearly, just like the Bible, that homosexuality is not accepted,” said Jamal Badawi, a professor emeritus at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

“It is not regarded as the norm in terms of the needs of society and the relationship between men and women.”

Professor Badawi has also underscored the difference between rejecting same-sex relations on Islam and the anti-homosexuality bias.

“There is a big difference between disagreement and discrimination. You can disagree with people and their views,” he said.

“Everybody’s entitled to the right to agree or disagree with anybody’s ideas. But discrimination, that’s what we all should be against.”

Halifax imams have also argued that everyone is welcomed in the city mosques regardless of their ‘sexual orientation’.

“All mosques, everybody is welcome in the mosque regardless of race, color, gender, whatever,” said Imam Ibrahim Alshanti, of the United Muslims of Halifax.

“To open a new mosque specially for these people, maybe it’s not necessary.”

Last November, a French homosexual opened a mosque in Paris that welcomed gay worshippers and women who do not wear hijab.

The move triggered condemnations from French Muslims, as Muslim scholars denounced it for promoting immoralities and wrongdoings.

Read more here-
http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/466923-gay-mosque-planned-in-canada.html

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