TRANSFORMING SOCIAL ATTITUDES
Sahodaranworks to transform social attitudes, creating a conducive environment for community members to realize their full potential. Our sensitization programs educate non-community members about gender, sexuality, and the diversity of sexual orientation, through simple presentations and testimonials tailored to the needs of each audience. Our modules also emphasize the legal, health-related, and psychosocial challenges faced by community members. In addition to tackling individual prejudices, these programs build public support for LGBT rights and the decriminalization of homosexuality. Our programs aim to forge community friendly spaces at every level, from the home and surrounding locality, to advocacy for and state and national-level policy change.
IN THE HOME AND THE LOCALITY
Parents and jamath leaders:
At the level of the home, we facilitate parental counseling to help parents accept and support their children’s sexual orientation. We also counsel MSM on how to better approach their families, through a family member that is sympathetic to their cause. Through our sister concern Thozhi, we initiated the first sensitization program for jamath leaders(respected elders within the traditional transgender community), to help them provide better care and support to the kothis under their care. Received training for various module female partners of MSM & TG 2012 – especially
Police, shopkeepers, auto drivers, and landlords :
We work to transform hot spots into community-friendly spaces by educating and sensitizing locals, such as landlords, shop owners, police personnel, auto drivers, and rowdies. Impressed by our success with police advocacy, Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society selected Sahodaran to conduct police sensitization programs throughout the state of Tamil Nadu. At several hot spots, local flower-sellers and petty shopkeepers have agreed to stock free condoms to hand over to community members. During incidents of violence or harassment, auto drivers and other local stakeholders can act as witnesses or sources of support, rather than remain silent bystanders. In 2014, through Sahodaran Unit I and II, we conducted 11 sensitization programs with local stakeholders, reaching a total of 340 persons.