Members of transgender community and other sexuality minorities gave public testimonies of the regular violence they face on Kolkata, 25th November, 2019: Members of the Transgender community and other sexuality minorities are extremely stigmatized and discriminated despite the two historic judgments by the Supreme Court in 2016 (Transgender Rights, NALSA Judgement) and decriminalising Homosexuality on 2018 (Repealing of IPC 377). Members belonging to transgender and sexuality minorities are facing brutal violence on an everyday basis inside families, outside on roads, in Institutions. In recent years as more people from these groups are coming out of the closet, more they are tried to push back into the lives of shame, of violence, of exclusion. Moreover because of various reasons this violence is also extremely underreported. To break this silence in this “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” members of the Transgender and other sexuality minorities along with women who are also sufferers of gender based violence has come together and shared the unmatched and gory violence they faced and are still facing under the ages of Coalition Against Gender Based Violence in the event aptly named as “Sahas” which translates to Bravery.
The notable attendees among the leaders of the Collation Against Gender based Violence were, Ranjita Sinha, Founder ATHB, Transgender Activist, Soma Marik, Representing Das Theke Das Hajar and Associate professor, dept. of History, Ramkrishna Sarada Mission Vidyabhavan, Aparajita Ganguly, Unit Head of Human Rights Law Network, Kolkata & Tista Das, Poet, Actor, Transwoman, Activist. An Event of this nature is the first of its kind, since here the idea of women is challenged and thus broadened. “Sahas” spoke about being women is not only about your biology but also about your gender, which we determine by ourselves
“All the attendees and speakers have shown immense bravery as they came out of their solitary shell and spoke out about the pain they face. We are here to inform the society that we might not be physically women but spiritually and internally we are women so we have come together on the UN declared “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” to give this day more meaning. Violence and physical abuse is a disgrace.” said Ranjita Sinha, Founder ATHB, Transgender Activist.
“The Constitution of India has the Article 15 which states, the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of race, religion, caste, sex and place of birth. Then why is there such discrimination against the communities of Transgender and other Sexuality minorities? We as citizens of India and more so as Human Beings of this planet have more than enough right to demand to do away with the chronic discrimination.” said Tista Das, Poet, Actor, Transwoman, Activist.
In conclusion, the event has shed light on the regular sufferings of the Transgender and the Sexuality Minority communities and has spoken against the animosity of the society. The aforementioned communities have hoped for a better future as they sent across this message of positivity with bravery.