CHENNAI: One ticket from each political party – this is the demand from the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community as the State heats up for the Assembly elections. “Even if we get one ticket from each popular party, we will be able to take our community forward,” said Renuka, a transwoman with the NGO Snegidhi, asking for a political party framework to make space for the third gender.
Several NGOs, civil society organisations and community-based organisations gathered on Tuesday to demand representation for the gender and sexual minorities.
Referring to the 33% reservation for women in Parliament, chairperson of SIAAP (South India AIDS Action Programme) Shyamala Nataraj said it was only fair to have them contest along with other candidates. She added that as per the Supreme Court verdict, all communities and groups in the country were entitled to political representation. “For the last five years, during our annual June Pride, we have been making repeated appeals to include the LGBTQ in politics. We wish to make a similar appeal ahead of this election,” said Bhavana, a transwoman and representative for the NGO Sahodharan.
She also highlighted that despite repeated appeals, voter IDs of many trans-voters shows their gender as ‘female’.
“‘Idharar’ (other) is a term used by many formally, but it is quite a hurtful and a non-inclusive term. We request the State government to kindly give us the third gender status on our voter ID cards,” she said.