A progressive coalition of groups working for the
rights of sexual minorities
Greetings from Rainbow Planet!
We are a coalition of diverse progressive groups working for the rights
of sexuality minorities (homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgenders
and others who are oppressed due to their sexual orientation and/or gender
expression), sex-workers and PLWHA (People Living With HIV/AIDS) in India.
We came together to make our issues visible at the WSF (World Social Forum,
16-21 January 2004, Mumbai, India, www.wsfindia.org). We hope to organise
as many events as possible on issues concerning sexuality minorities,
sex-workers and PLWHA. We hope to mobilise 1000+ people. We are requesting
WSF organisers to allot us an exclusive space for 1000 people for all
days, so that all the activities (initiated by us and others) on sexual
rights issues can be organised in one common space. We wish to call it
Planet' Concept Note
The struggles of those who come within the rubric of sexual outlaws be
they sexual minorities, sex-workers or those who face stigma because of
their sexual behavior (i.e. those who are affected by/living with HIV/AIDS)
have still to attain the status of a movement. It is to use a metaphor
common in queer circles still 'coming out'. It is a newcomer, compared
to the more
established activisms of workers, farmers, adivasis, dalits, women and
environment. Its 'legitimacy' is still not clear even as sexual outlaws
try to claim a place among the communities of suffering. While some spaces
have opened out, we are still liable to be dismissed as advocating a personal
choice or a lifestyle issue at best or a perversion or deviation at worst.
As an activist friend put it, 'More often than not, the abuse suffered
by these subaltern sexual cultures has been made invisible even by the
activist community using a convoluted logic that arrogates to itself the
ability to calibrate pain. First comes class, then comes caste, then come
gender, ecology and so on. If there is any space left on this ark of suffering,
then sexuality is included as a humble cabin boy. There is no hope of
the last being the first in this inheritance of the meek.'
It is in this context that Rainbow Planet is being organized so as to
clearly articulate that that the field of sexuality is deeply political
and that sexuality remains a basis of deep and pervasive violence and
violation which is often unrecognized, under reported and invisibilized
by a politics which stubbornly refuses to grant legitimacy to the struggles
and aspirations of sexual minorities, sex- workers and PLWHA. Our objective
is not only to put on board the state violence and legal violence which
those us, who are sex-
workers, sexuality minorities and PLWHA face but also to put on board
the notion that there is a societal violence as well, the violence of
a judgmental attitude that pushes people, who practice or experience their
sexuality differently to the very edge of society. The violence of forced
circumstances that lead to the acceptance of survival strategies that
increases vulnerability to life threatening situations. Also, in the context
of changes being created by the crises in the current patterns of globalization
and governance that are leading to the destruction and devaluation of
livelihoods and life systems of entire communities of people in the global
south; to the absolute erosion of all notions of rights or dignity for
survivors of the violence of trafficking for the purpose of prostitution.
Apart from testifying to the violence, Rainbow Planet through the voices
and visions of survivors and resistors will seek to understand and unravel
the hidden realities of persons involved in prostitution and sex-work,
sexuality minorities and PLWHA, so as to celebrate the survival among
incredible odds of a subculture of resistance to dominant notions of sexuality.
objectives of Rainbow Planet
- To ensure recognition of sexuality rights as a legitimate human rights
struggles based upon the voices of sexual outlaws
- Advocate for and share widely the issues, concerns and opportunities
related to the core theme from the perspective of the victims, survivors
and resistors of the violence of stigmatization, discrimination and
a judgmental attitude.
- Provide a forum for people in prostitution and sex-work, sexuality
minorities and PLWHA from different regions of the world to share, reflect
and have a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of stigma
and discrimination in different contexts.
- Recognize and build upon the strengths and survival strategies of
affected persons towards challenging and transforming discriminatory
social and legal policies and evolving a notion of rights rooted in
- Illustrate the critical linkages and the borderless nature of the
core issues and the importance of regional networks.
- Deepen knowledge through dialogue among people in the regions and
facilitate creative and concrete policies and program action.
- Reiterate the urgency of the crisis related to governance in the
global south due to the effects of globalisation and the impact of
these on trafficking for prostitution.
- Formulate concrete and relevant follow up actions and campaigns at
the regional, national and international levels to evolve long term
sustainable strategies to address the issues.
- Strengthen regional and national networking among individuals and
groups on this issue in order to work for more effective action and
advocacy at various levels.
Present members are Rainbow
Alternative Law Forum (Bangalore), DISC (Bangalore), DMSC (Calcutta),
FIRM (Trivandrum), INP+ (Chennai), Peoples Union
for Civil Liberties -
Karnataka, Sangama (Bangalore), Sangram (Sangli), Sexworkers Forum-
Kerala, SWAM (Chennai), WINS (Tirupati), Vaathil (Kerala), VAMP
(Maharashtra and Karnataka)
Events registered for WSF
We have registered 3 events online (www.wsfindia.org) for 1000 people
each, one event for each of us: sex-workers, sexuality minorities and
PLWHA. We have also registered a common event for 4000 people to have
a dialogue betweens various social movements on sexuality issues. We
need to do a lot of lobbying to make sure that space is allocated for
us at WSF.
US! SUPPORT US!!
The more groups are part of this common effort, the more impact
can make at WSF by mobilising people, lobbying for space, making our
issues visible, showing our strength in numbers. We invite all the progressive
groups/people in India and abroad to join hands with us
to say 'Another World is Possible for sexual outlaws'.
If you wish to join us please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
for Rainbow Planet