LGBTQ+ is an umbrella term used to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex. LGBTQI+ people represent a subset of individuals among the broader category of sexual and gender diverse individuals. Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) is diverse and spans cultures across the world.
Out of all the letters in the acronym LGBTQI, the L was the first to come into existence. LGBTQ+ traces its history since the second century but it started gaining social ground in the 17th century. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a 19th-century, German lawyer, and writer who may have identified as gay was the first to try to represent his community. The two symbols of the community that are recognized internationally are the pink triangle and the rainbow flag.
The Registrar General of India (RGI), during Enumeration of Census 2011, for the first time provided three code i.e. Male-1, Female-2 and other-3 for enumeration. This was at the discretion of the respondent. In case the respondent wished to record neither ‘1’ nor ‘2’ then enumerator was instructed to record sex as ‘other’ and give code ‘3’. It is important to note that the Census of India does not collect any data specifically on ‘transgender’. Thus, the category of ‘other’ would not only include ‘transgender’ but also any person who desires to record sex under the category of ‘other’. It is also possible that some transgender would have returned themselves either male or female depending upon their choice. The population of ‘other’ as per Census 2011 is 4,87,803.
LGBTQI+ people are discriminated against in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals, mistreated and disowned by their own families. They are less likely to access health services and engage with healthcare workers due to stigma and discrimination and bear a disproportionate burden of adverse physical and mental health outcomes. As a community, they are more likely to experience human rights violations including violence, torture, criminalization, involuntary medical procedures, and discrimination. In addition, they face denial of care, discriminatory attitudes, and inappropriate pathologizing in healthcare settings.
Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal Ministry for Welfare for Transgender Persons. The Ministry enacted the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and provisions of the same came into force on 10.01.2020. The Ministry has also prepared “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020” for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act and the same has been notified in the Gazette of India on 29.09.2020. Further, in accordance with the provisions of the said Act, the Ministry, vide notification dated 21.08.2020, has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons.
Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
The Act has following provisions: -
The Act makes all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Act. It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Central Government and State Governments/Union Territories Administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.
To access the complete Act, click here.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, on 25th September 2020, notified the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020. The Rules were issued in exercise of its powers conferred under Section 22 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 (‘2019 Act’).
The Rules address the following points:
To access the complete Rules, click here.
National Council for Transgender Persons
In exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (40 of 2019), the Central Government has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons vide notification dated 21st August, 2020. The Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment will be Chairperson (ex-officio) and Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment will be Vice-Chairperson (ex-officio).
The National Council shall perform the following functions, namely:
The other members of the Council include representatives of various Ministries/Departments, five representatives of transgender community, representatives of NHRC and NCW, representatives of State Governments and UTs and experts representing NGOs.
A Member of National Council, other than ex officio member, shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of his nomination.
To access the Notification, click here.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a National level umbrella scheme namely “SMILE - Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes two sub-schemes - ‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.
This umbrella scheme would cover several comprehensive measures including welfare measures for both transgender persons and persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, education, skill development, economic linkages etc with the support of State Governments/UTs/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and institutions and others.
To know more details, click here.
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