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Workshop on Beyond the Binary of Gender: Transfeminist Perspectives from India by Sambhaavnaa Institute, Himachal Pradesh [Sep 15-19]: Register Now!

The Workshop on Beyond the Binary of Gender: Transfeminist Perspectives from India is organised by Sambhaavnaa Institute, Himachal Pradesh from Sep 15-19, 2021.

About the Workshop

In today’s India a transgender person is, relatively speaking, not completely unknown to us. They have existed and continue to exist among and within our families, relationships, communities, workspaces, etc., and occupy public spaces and debates, form intimate partnerships, and feature in news and social media.

Yet it is quite ironical that transgender persons and gender non-conforming individuals remain amongst the most underrepresented of groups in India in terms of their access to social, cultural, economic and political spaces. Whether it be in research or production of empirical data about the community, transgender persons continue to experience a general apathy and structural invisiblisation.

In the tradition of passing the mic and stepping out of the box, “Beyond the Binary of Gender” is a workshop imagined as, curated and conducted by trans feminist persons representing diverse ethnic, caste, class and religious backgrounds of the country in an effort to bring together the diverse histories, lived realities, needs and allied concerns of transgender communities across the country.

Moreover it will draw upon the experiences of the resource persons in their work so far towards amplifying and mainstreaming trans feminist perspectives viz., the required interventions and changes in social attitudes and customary practices necessary towards building responses to eliminating transphobia and trans*-exclusionary practices and promoting a range of a range of trans* leaderships.

The workshop intends to throw light upon frequently asked question such as:

  • What are the identity/identities that falls under the umbrella of Trans*?
  • What are the gender, sex and sexuality based violence and discrimination and consequent experiences of social, cultural, political and economic exclusion specific to the lived experience of a transgender person or a person who doesn’t fit into gender stereotypes in general?
  • What studies, research, data, tools are available today when it comes to guidelines, mandates, laws etc. and other resources and information on ways to make spaces more inclusive to the transgender community?
  • Histories of struggles and victories, and of Trans Feminist Perspective Building across region and communities in the country so far.

The objective of organizing the workshop are:

  • Help practitioners of diverse professions in conscientization of the social, political, cultural and economic realities and consequent needs and demands of the transgender community representing diverse ethnic, caste, class and religious background of the country.
  • A guide to think of “trans” as a central analytic to make sense of various contemporary structures and events – Regional, national and transnational issues and concerns.
  • An open invitation to human right defenders and allied practitioners to critically reflect as a collective towards emerging language, practices and initiatives based on inclusion from the perspective of the lived realities of transgender people. This will include and not limit to:
  • Policies and programs on building an understanding of gender based violence and discrimination and related projects that seek to prevent or prohibit the same.
    • Diversity and inclusion based hiring for job and related opportunities.
    • Efforts to include Trans* representation and leadership in varied social justice based people’s movement and related spaces.
      Laws, Judgement and other statutory efforts by the State to make a difference towards ensuring safety, dignity and access to opportunity and justice by a transgender person.
    • Prepare a readily applicable working document on “creating a safe and inclusive space for gender non-conforming person” vis a vis the Indian context as a take-away for the participants.

The 5 day workshop will include interactive informative sessions with audio-visual aids, group work and presentations; film screening and discussion and online zoom sessions with select transfeminist leaders to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

Moreover kinesthetic participatory techniques such as roleplays, image theatre, forum theatre etc. will be used to drive the conceptual learning acquired from the above to a practical experience for the participants in order ensure an interactive learning experience that will help develop/promote an active ownership/accountability of the subject matter of the workshop i.e. building a Trans-Inclusive or Trans-Affirmative spaces and practices in and around their personal and professional environment, among the participants.

In addition, case studies, articles, summary reports and relevant handouts will also be shared that will help elucidate necessary key terms and concepts.

There will be a session wise evaluation and feedback received anonymously from the group. The intention is to create a progressive course correction strategy depending on the feedback of the participants on a daily basis.

Language: The workshop will be primarily conducted in Hindi and English.

Who is it for?

For human right activists, social workers, writers, academics and allied practitioners and organizations, collectives and groups working on issues of sex, gender and sexuality based violence and discrimination and related human rights, social justice and allied developmental concerns such as gender equality, health, education, livelihood etc., who are passionate about building a Trans-Inclusive or Trans-Affirmative spaces and practices in and around their personal and professional environment.

Residential Resource Persons
  • Anindya Hajra (SHe/Her), Co-founder and Director, Pratyay Gender Trust, Kolkata.
  • Sai Bourothu (SHe/Her), Project Officer – Prison Reforms, Commonwealth Health Rights initiative, Delhi.
  • Ditilekha (He/They), Coordinator, Sangat – A Feminist Network.
  • Pavel Sagolsem (any pronoun) Co-founder, The Chinky Homo Project.
  • Sayan Bhattacharya (they/them) doctoral candidate, Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota
Speakers Joining Via Zoom
  • Bittu Karthik Kondaiah (He/They), Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology, Ashoka University.
  • Santa Khurai (She/Her), Co-founder, All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association.
  • Kiran B Nayak (He/Him), Founder of Karnataka Vikalachetanara Sanghatane, a 8642+ member strong network of persons living with disability (physical, visual and multiple disabilities) across the south Indian state of Karnataka.
  • Grace Banu (She/Her), Founder TransRightNow Collective.
  • Rumi Harish (He/Him), Transmen and Musician, Co
  • Daniel Mendonca (She/Her), Founder, Intersex Human Rights India.

Dates and Venue: 15-19 Sep’21, Sambhaavnaa Institute, VPO – Kandbari, Tehsil – Palampur, District – Kangra, PIN 176061, Himachal Pradesh

Contribution towards Programs Costs: We hope that participants would contribute an amount of Rs. 5500/- towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all on-site workshop costs: boarding, lodging, and all the materials used in the workshop.

Need-based partial waivers are available; we have a very limited number of partial waivers, so, please apply for a waiver only if you really need it. Please do remember that there may be others who need it more than you.

How to Register?

Interested participants can register for the workshop through this link.


For any other info: WhatsApp or call Shashank: 889 422 7954 (between 10 am to 5 pm), and e-mail:


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