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In India, far too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people live lives of secrecy and shame. Those who reveal their sexual identities or deviate from gender norms face social rejection, economic marginalisation, and physical violence.
Breaking these taboos, Satyamev Jayate, India’s leading public affairs programme, has highlighted the challenges that still confront LGBT communities in India. In its October 19th episode, Aamir Khan and the Satyamev Jayate team vividly shared the hopes and bitter realities of many LGBT Indians.
Simran Shaikh, a key member of Alliance India’s Pehchan programme team, was interviewed by Mr. Khan during Sunday’s programme and described her personal triumph against discrimination. She told the story of her life as a hijra, from being on the streets at the age of 14 and making a living as a bar dancer to her work today as a programme officer raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and as an advocate speaking out for LGBT rights.
In one of the programme’s most memorable segments, Simran spoke movingly of her personal journey and the work that remains to achieve equality. She observed, "I am deeply troubled by the everyday injustices faced by my LGBT brothers and sisters. We need to fight the internalised homophobia and transphobia in our communities and transform our fear of our own gender and sexual identities. We must celebrate who we are."
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