Our society’s understanding of gender and sexuality remains limited even today, which leads to the spread of misinformation, hatred, thus causing discrimination. To create awareness on the issue among the youth and to give them a platform to interact and ask questions which they have been told not to, a seminar on ‘Gender and Sexuality’ was conducted by Amrita Sarkar from SAATHII NGO at Hansraj College on 21st February. The Gender Equality Cell of the institution had organised the event and it was powered by SheThePeople.TV. Amrita is involved in transgender activism and is a member of TPATH. She is currently working with Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII).
They laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at them because they are all the same. – Amrita Sarkar
The event commenced with Amrita explaining what SAATHI is and the programs they initiate as a part of the organisation. She spoke in-depth about the atrocities that LGBTQIA+ people in general face, especially those belonging to the transgender community. She presented a detailed account of the suffering people face due to subjugation and ostracization by our society.
Amrita carried the seminar forward by speaking on how sexuality is often misunderstood and how it is not limited to sex. How our sexuality is more definitive of our behaviour, surrounding and our choices were explained in detail. She also talked about the need for creating more gender-friendly institutions.
Case studies discussed during the session made the listeners aware of the need to amend the gender norms. The way she acknowledged her own experiences struck the audience making the seminar more relatable. There was also a discussion about setting up gender-neutral washrooms around Delhi, especially Hansraj College. She explained how gender-neutral restrooms would lend to a sense of safety and comfort for people from the community who might otherwise be victims of transphobia and homophobia.
Our sexuality is more definitive of our behaviour, surrounding and our choices, said Amrita.
After the seminar, she also engaged in an interactive session with students where she spoke about sexual fluidity. They also talked about the need to seek for help whenever necessary.
The seminar witnessed immense appreciation form the students and faculty alike. Amrita Sarkar ended the session, saying, “They laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at them because they are all the same,” adding, “There’s only one species which has homophobia that is human beings of course.”