Impulse India, a global branch of the international safer sex coalition Impulse Group, gathered nearly 100 community members at Hotel Sherwani in New Delhi on April 22, 2014 for a night of festivities, sexual health awareness, and a vibrant discussion on LGBT rights in India. Over 400 condoms and 270 personal lubricant samples were distributed to guests, and 23 participants took a free HIV test that night. Attendees also enjoyed a colorful dance competition featuring performers dressed in traditional Indian dress.
Dr. V. Sam Prasad AHF India’s Clinical Affairs Manager, led a robust discussion about therecent ruling by India’s Supreme Court recognizing transgender people as a third gender. Compared to some Western countries, transgender equality leads the way in India, and the landmark ruling sparked lively commentary at the event. Attendees who identify as transgender expressed concern about how the ruling would play out in terms of
Dr. Nochiketa Mohanty, AHF India Country Program Manager, speaks to the crowd about sexual health transgender placement in the caste system, while gay identified male attendees expressed frustration with the lack of acceptance and diminished rights of homosexuals compared to transgender individuals in the country. Dr. Prasad addressed the crowd’s issues, and encouraged everyone to continue the fight for LGBT equal rights. Coincidentally, on the same day Impulse India hosted the event, the country’s supreme court announced it would revisit the ruling to uphold a longtime ban on gay sexual activity.