IMPHAL, September 26: “We demand our rights. We deserve to be treated equally. The society needs to understand how much we struggle for existence. The problems that we face are 100 times harder than the problems face by women. Bad treatment minted to us by teachers, doctors, policemen really hurt us. And most of the people make fun of us too.”
This was said by Santa Thangjam, All Manipur Nupi Manbee Association (AMANA) Coalition, speaking as the special guest speaker at a sensitization workshop with SLSA and DLSAs, Manipur on “MSM, Transgender People, Women Living with or Affected by HIV and the Law” here at Hotel Nirmala today.
The sensitization workshop was held under “Project Pehchan: Strengthening MSM, Hijara and Transgender Community Systems in India,” a Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII) project in partnership with India HIV/AIDS Alliance ‘Pehchan’ Consortium and funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Round 9).
He further said that the issue of ‘Nupi manbee’ (gay) people facing in the state is different comparing with other states. In other states people like them have their own culture and live in colony system. But in Manipur the Nupi manbee do not stay separate instead they live with their families and help their families in their day to day live.
Many Families pushes them to marry with girl but since their sexual orientation cannot be change, both the girl and the Nupi manbee cannot enjoy their married life and they end up in a miserable state. Society needs to be aware of these issues. The consequences of ignorance of the issue will affect the society as a whole. It can even bring social conflict, he said.
“They were not even allowed to donate blood saying that most of the gays are HIV+ positive. Policemen harass them at night and sometimes even abuse them sexually and also looted them of their money,” he said.
“We want support from the civil organizations in the fight for our rights. We are born this way people need to understand it,” he appealed.
Other special guest speakers of the workshop, A Guneshwar Sharma, Member Secretary, Manipur SLSA, Shyamachandra, general secretary, AMBA, and Pawan Dhall, Country Director, SAATHII, presented a detailed account on the gay issue.
The workshop was attended by Lawyers, Policemen and gay people.