Members of the LGBT community will raise their issues with AAP representatives at a special programme in Delhi on Sunday. Initiated by Mumbai-based filmmaker Onir, “Face to Face” has been organised by Engendered, an arts and gender rights organisation. It is first initiative where a national-level party has proactively displayed interest in this community’s problems.
“After the Supreme Court verdict upheld Section 377, the AAP was one party that spoke in our favour. We also realised the LGBT movement has been apolitical too long. It is time we change that because unless we lobby, and lobby right, the community will not be allowed (its) rights,” said Onir.
The event is being termed a “conversation” between the heads of several Delhi-based LGBT organisations as well as feminists and AAP representatives Dilip Pandey and Atishi Marlena.
Myna Mukherjee of Engendered says the idea is to have an exchange in gender, equality and human rights since the problems rarely get discussed at a lobbying level “although this is at an informal level”. It’s an open event that Mukherjee says will be attended by several LGBT artistes and feminists.
Atishi Marlena said the party had raised issues concerning the transgender community even during the Delhi assembly elections. “We were the only party to have taken up issues relating to their identity, access to healthcare, education and livelihood options. In the Lok Sabha elections, we plan to include these issues in our manifesto. Our efforts will include constitution of transgender welfare boards across states.”
After the meeting at Gallery Engendered SPACE, Shahpurjat, Onir plans to take this event to Mumbai and Kolkata too. “I have faith in the manifesto and vision of AAP. Also, most of their candidates include professionals such as artistes, teachers, engineers and doctors, which gives me hope that they will be more open to discussing the problems of the queer community.”