Rainbow Manipur blog is an initiative of community groups of gender and sexual minorities in Manipur. This includes, among others, All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMaNA), a support forum for trans women, and Empowering Trans Ability (ETA), a support forum for trans men.
Gender and sexual minorities is an umbrella term for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender fluid, intersex, asexual and other people with non-normative genders and sexualities, including many who don’t identify with any of these terms.
Our blog highlights the fact that many people who go against the so called social norms of gender and sexuality face severe socio-economic and socio-legal exclusion. This happens in a variety of spheres beginning with the family itself, where gender and sexual minorities often face stigma, discrimination and violence. This non-acceptance extends to the spheres of education, skills building, employment, health, nutrition, shelter, social security, media, laws and policies.
Gender and sexual minorities are excluded not just because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, but also their gender expression, sexual behaviours, romantic and sexual relationships, single (unmarried) status, and even the family structures they create beyond the rigid norms of family by blood or marriage.
The impact is felt in terms of young people with non-normative genders and sexualities dropping out of school and college, lower levels of literacy and formal learning, job insecurity, poor health care, nutrition and housing, high depression and anxiety levels, suicidal and self-harm tendencies, substance use, STI/HIV vulnerability, limited social mobility, and even limited access to public spaces.
This violates the Fundamental Rights of gender and sexual minorities – among others the rights to equality, privacy, freedom of expression, dignity and life. This is also in complete disregard of globally well-established facts that non-normative genders and sexualities are neither a sickness nor a sign of criminality. Such a situation is unacceptable to us and should be to anyone who believes in social justice!
Rainbow Manipur is a solemn pledge to undertake community-based and community-led documentation and research on the rights violations faced by gender and sexual minorities in Manipur, and fight for their rights through training, awareness generation and advocacy.
In our struggles we stand in solidarity with women’s rights, child rights, disability, mental health, HIV and other social movements of marginalized communities.
Come join us for a better today and tomorrow!
Acknowledgements: This blog has been created with support from Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII), CORE Manipur and Varta Trust.
Funding support has been provided by Sussex Social Science Impact Fund of the University of Sussex, UK – through a research, training and advocacy project titled ‘Gender and Sexual Minorities Economic Inclusion Advocacy Project – 2016-17’.
Photo credits (for Home and About Us pages): Kaushik Gupta (scenes from ‘1st LGBTI Pride Walk’ in Imphal, March 15, 2014).
(C) AMaNA and ETA Manipur.