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The India Network For Sexual Minorities
is a collective national effort by sexual minorities
to ensure equality for themselves in all spheres of life, free from discrimination.

Coming together for Equality



INFOSEM
Membership Information

INFOSEM is a membership organization comprised of sexual minority (SM)-serving (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, et al) community-based organizations (CBO). Membership is
by invitation only, which is
extended to the CBO by the Governing Council.

Non-governmental organizations
with established SM programs can
be considered for membership if
the SM program is led by the SM community and the program will be turned into a CBO.

SM CBOs that are interested in
joining INFOSEM should contact a local INFOSEM member for information. A membership
application will be forwarded to
the CBO from the regional
governing council representative member (RGCM).


Membership Information doc

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INFOSEM
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History of INFOSEM

In May 2000, The Humsafar Trust (HST) took the initiative in holding the first all India consultation of community organizations that were organized around sexuality issues and working with persons belonging to diverse sexualities. The consultation meet was held at a small seaside hotel in Gorai Beach at Bhayander in Vasai District.



INFOSEM meeting


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The main focus of that consultation was to review the situation of sexual minority/LGBT communities and draw up a plan for an All India Network. The sessions of that meeting focused on human right issues around sexuality and gender, proposal writing and fund raising, networking and sharing of resources and understanding the impact HIV/AIDS/STD has on MSM and male-to-female transgender populations.

Altogether 32 organizations of men who have sex with men (MSM) ranging from self-identified gay men, bisexuals, male-to-female transgender persons (hijras), lesbians and bisexual women came for that meeting. This consultation was funded by NACO, MDACS, UNAIDS, DFID besides private well wishers of the Humsafar Trust like Richard Winger, Joseph McCormick, and many others in the USA and other countries.

Though efforts were made throughout the intervening years to get an indigenous agenda going, the various multiple issues facing LGBT organizing made it increasingly difficult for HST to gather forces together.

HST expanded its own services to gay men and other men who have sex with men even as the HIV epidemic escalated but still gave priority to community mobilization till late 2003. It was in mid-2003 that the Humsafar Trust's board of trustees with support and encouragement from individual well-wishers and friendly organizations finally decided to initiate a network of LGBT organizations whose main objective was community work ranging from health issues to social and legal issues around LGBT identities and behavior.

Invitations to join the network were sent to selected community organizations and organizations like SAATHII with which the Humsafar Trust has already established rapport. The India Network of Sexual Minorities (INFOSEM) was thus formed in November 2003 by a group of community organizations that came together to work towards achieving common goals. Thus, INFOSEM is a loose confederation of community organizations organized around sexual orientation (lesbians, gays, bisexual women and men) and gender self-allocation (hijras, kothis or transgender).


The key objectives of INFOSEM are:

1) To advocate for sexuality and sexual health rights with specific focus on prevention and care of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

2) To help emerging grassroots groups by providing inputs and training in setting up and managing health, social, and legal issues faced by persons belonging to sexual minority/LGBT communities.

3) To work towards clarifying the legal status of transgender/transsexual persons.

4) To work towards repealing all discriminatory legislations that criminalizes same-sex sexual behaviors between consenting adults in privacy, which include Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (with suitable provisions / modifications in other statutes / laws to take into account the child sexual abuse and adult same-gender sexual assault).

INFOSEM organized its first meeting in the first quarter of 2004 to elect an all-India managing-committee to decide a future course of action. This meeting was combined with the capacity building of the member organizations of INFOSEM.

Project Objectives:

To create a management structure for INFOSEM and to build the capacity of the member organizations of INFOSEM that work with gay/bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, lesbian and bisexual women, and transgender populations in India to efficiently deal with sexuality, sexual health, STD/HIV/AIDS and human rights issues.

Activities:

a) To form a democratically elected management committee for INFOSEM

b) To conduct needs assessment of the member organizations of INFOSEM that work with gay/bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, lesbian and bisexual women, and transgender populations in India

c) Conducting training sessions to build the capacity of the community organizations



 
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