An alternative voice against stigma and vulnerability; message dissemination from an MSM dance group

Published: August 1, 2008

An alternative voice against stigma and vulnerability; message dissemination from an MSM dance group

Issues: We can’t even imagine how much stigma and discrimination the marginalized groups facing in every stage of their life. Sexual abuse, harassment and physical violence is the regular picture within the MSM community and the group is already been considered as one of the most high risk group for HIV transmission. 

Description: Kothi is known as feminized male belonging to the MSM population, who are more socially excluded and stigmatized mostly for their body language and sexual behavior. One thing they love to do is dance, so why not make use of this talent? With the support from UNICEF Bangladesh; a community dance group “Essence of the soul” was formed in response to the social exclusion and stigmatization. Their purpose: to raise awareness among the general population about HIV/AIDS, to inform other group of MSM about the danger of HIV/AIDS and lastly but not the least to raise voice from the community. The dance group was well trained by national level choreographers and performed number of occasions in different parts of the country. Now they have many dances in their repertoire that portray messages to tackle the challenges they face. 

Lessons learned: The dances performed by the group are the expression of their inner feelings. Despite many limitations; their feelings, consciousness and artistic creativity have given them the courage not only to highlight their own rights but also inspire their eagerness to serve for the wider population. The evidence from the field shows, they are having a profound impact and their self esteem level rising up. 

Next steps: To aware mass population and to combat HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination, the organization has planned to develop more groups and arrange number of shows in different parts of the country. 

-Abstract can be found at link below- 

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