An Intriguing Awareness Program on Gender Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The month of June is celebrated as PRIDE month across the world. The NSS Wing of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), Faculty of Engineering Technology, in collaboration with the Family Planning Association, India, conducted an awareness program on Gender Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion on 30th June 2022.

The event started with valuable words from Dr. S.A. Hariprasad – Director of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, and Dr. Rajasimha Makram, Associate Director of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University). The speaker for the event was Vinay Chandran, Executive Director of Swabhava NGO. He delivered an enlightening session on the diversity of gender, the presence of different sexual orientations, and methods to create a safe environment for the budding youth in the current society. A total of 56 members attended the event, which included students, teaching, and non-teaching staff.

The speaker threw light on the stereotypes built around the myth that men and women are the only two genders, and they must look and act a certain way to be acceptable. He also highlighted the difference between sex and gender, eradicated the myth of having only two genders and that it is a 'choice', problems faced by adolescence today in coming out and living freely in society, and legal progress in the safety of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially article 377. He pointed out the presence of sexual orientations other than heterosexuality, types of traumas and harm experienced by the community, and how to create a safe environment for every child. The speaker enlightened the audience on the present and past situations regarding gender identity and diversity. Dr. Chandran gave more information on genders, identification, and transformation to the other gender. While highlighting the issues of transformation (LGBTQIA+) to another gender, he said, "Violence makes the person insecure and sexual orientation is no choice and there exists more than just heterosexuality." The speaker made the session very interesting and interactive and graciously answered questions of the participants about different genders and sexualities and how society can be made a safer and more accepting place.

The event was an unparalleled learning experience for everyone, and it provided the opportunity to gain information about the LGBTQIA+ community, especially from the community’s perspective. The participants were proactive, and the session was lively and refreshing. The session was wrapped up by a vote of thanks from the speaker.