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LGBTQ members call for inclusion, recognition

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KOLKATA, April 27: People known as LGBTQ members usually face discrimination in their growing up phase from childhood facing acceptance problems from family, parents, siblings, neighbours, even friends and teachers, participants at a conclave here revealed.

Seventy-five members of the LGBTQ community from different parts of the state, shared their experiences at the conclave – “Rainbow Dialogues – All in this Together” – a project of US Consulate held across seven states in east and north-eastern India, held in collaboration with US-based organisation StoryCenter and BRIDGE early this week.

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The participants called for inclusion, equity and accessibility for the LGBTQ community, a spokesperson from BRIDGE told PTI.

Director of the American Center Kolkata, Elizabeth Lee, said “As we reflect on the importance of human rights, we recognize that the struggle of LGBTQ people to obtain rights and recognition is inseparable from the broader fight for universal human rights.

An LGBTQ member from Kalyani in Nadia district told PTI, that though the attitude of people to the community is slowly changing he still faces harassment in public transport.

He recalled when he was a class seven student in a boys’ school, his classmates often would ask him to prove he was male by undressing.

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“However, in my workplace, my colleagues and seniors are very helpful and cooperative,” he said emphasizing that attitude and perception have undergone a change in the past two to three years.

The 24-year-old youth was attending the meet at the American Center to share experiences with other community members.

Prithiraj Nag, one of the speakers and LGBTQ advocacy right activists said, “People known as LGBTQ members usually face discrimination since their growing up phase from childhood facing acceptance problem from family, parents, siblings, neighbours, even friends and teachers.”

The 75 participants were mostly from West Bengal including transmen, transwomen, bisexuals, lesbians and other queer group members. (PTI)

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