INTRODUCTION

 Ondede is a Kannada word for convergence. By recognizing and acknowledging existing movements, Ondede endeavors to link these different, but interrelated groups to various media platforms to foster productive community discourses, conduct research, and instigate action on dignity-voice-sexuality, and most crucially from the perspective of sexual minorities and transgender community. We envision a society that provides access in a non-discriminatory and gender-just way. We have also been working towards establishing linkages between different social movements, to increase evidence based advocacy in policy and to practice and provide platform for people and movements to come together.

CONCEPT BACKGROUND

 Sexual minorities are usually termed as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons etc. Their sexual orientation, gender identity, practices and even family/institutional support structure are  distinctly  different from the majority of the society. It is only in the recent decade that the sexual minority and the transgender community have come to the fore front of the society as marginalized and discriminated groups based on their gender, sexuality and identity.

The need of the hour, we believe, is to understand and ensure a just, equitable and a more inclusive society, for these groups often have to face and deal with unsympathetic families, patriarchal and prejudiced society, disgruntled spouses or lovers who turn hostile or become extortionists.

Violence faced by these communities is often invisible or under reported in mainstream media. Further, an insensitive criminal justice system and a pre-colonial provision of Section 377 of the India Penal Code makes reporting even more difficult.

ACTION PLAN and METHODOLOGY 

 In this context, Ondede has taken a small initiative to understand sexual violence, domestic violence, sexuality rights and transgender rights from the perspectives and experiences of these communities by documenting the stories of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, Jogappas, transgender persons, gender non-confirming, intersex etc from across the State of Karnataka. Perspectives on these four themes will also be gathered from different stakeholders like the police departments, NGOs working with sexual minorities and women, government departments, State Human Rights Commission, hospitals etc.

The methodology used will draw upon the tools of feminist participatory research and seek to foreground personal testimonies while drawing out the larger context for the stories.

PURPOSE

As an Organization working with the grass root communities, these case studies will help us in understanding and voicing the struggles of individuals from the sexual minority and the transgender community. It will also help us to analyse the current legal frame work by demonstrating the stark realities of harassment, abuse and violence that has become a part of their day-to-day existence and need to be included in the wider discourse on sexual and domestic violence as also on human rights and dignity. These case studies can also be used in the growing body of knowledge on these marginalized and invisibile communities that could inform ongoing  activism and advocacy, even while  developing a more informed and sensitive analytical framework for understanding the lives and realities of sexual minority and transgender communities.

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