Sappho for Equality
Sappho for Equality, established in October 2003, is the only registered organization in Eastern India that works for the rights and social justice of sexually marginalized women and transmen (female to male transpersons). It uniquely works to create bridges between the so-called normative and non-normative populations in our society and positions gender-sexuality within existing development discourses.
A society free of sexuality-based discriminations, where rights of the sexual minorities will be ensured.
To address the issues of sexually marginalized women and female to male transpersons in society and to broaden the struggle for social equality and rights within the nation-state and beyond.
To problematize the existing idea of a sexual ‘mainstream’ as opposed to a ‘margin’ and to challenge any form of ghettoization of the margins.
To go beyond identity-based politics to a politics of standpoint; to provide a platform irrespective of gender and sexual orientation to persons who question the organized workings of homophobia, heterosexism, and both hetero and homo-normativity.
Sappho for Equality works with a three pronged approach -
i) inbound or community empowerment
ii) outbound or addressing general civil society and networking with other groups/organisations
iii) state-bound or advocacy/lobby with the State
Some activities under section “i” :
- Providing safe space for lesbians, bisexual women and F to M transpersons through Sappho
- Peer Counseling
- Running a helpline
- Providing mental health counseling services to LGBTI individuals and families
- Facilitating crisis intervention
- Organizing self-empowerment workshops for LGBT community members
- Conducting meetings, study circles and group discussions
Some activities under section “ii”:
- Organizing discussions, debates and sensitization/orientation programmes
- Organizing annual LGBT film and video festival
- Interacting with student population and researchers; organizing academic seminars and conferences
- Conducting the annual Sexuality Academy
- Running the Sexuality Resource Centre – ‘Chetana’
- Actively engaging with the feminist movements
- Networking and referral networking with other women’s rights, minority rights, human rights and LGBT rights organizations in India and abroad
- Actively participating in the movement against IPC 377
Some activities under section ‘iii’:
- Sensitizing medical practitioners and medical students at State-run medical colleges
- Sensitizing and orienting the Police
Some special activities directed towards research, documentation and publication:
- Publishing the biannual bilingual magazine Swakanthey (In her own voice)
- Publishing relevant research papers and other literatures
- Producing films and other IEC materials
- Engaging in feminist qualitative research on sexuality and rights