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General Studies 2 >> Governance

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1. Context:
Ten years after the Supreme Court’s NALSA judgement that recognised the rights of transgender people in India, the community tells us what has changed in their lives – and what hasn’t
2. What is the  LGBTQIA+ community?

The LGBTQIA+ community is an umbrella term that encompasses a diverse group of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions.

Here's a breakdown of each term within the acronym:

  • Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other women.
  • Gay: A term often used to describe men who are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other men. It can also be used more broadly to refer to anyone within the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to people of more than one gender. This includes attraction to both men and women, as well as non-binary individuals.
  • Transgender: A person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. This term encompasses a diverse range of gender identities, including transgender women (assigned male at birth, identify as female), transgender men (assigned female at birth, identify as male), and non-binary individuals (whose gender identity is not exclusively male or female).
  • Queer: Historically used as a derogatory term, "queer" has been reclaimed by many within the LGBTQIA+ community as an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities. It can encompass a range of identities that do not fit within traditional societal norms regarding gender and sexuality.
  • Intersex: Intersex individuals are born with variations in sex characteristics that do not fit typical definitions of male or female. This can include differences in reproductive anatomy, chromosomes, or hormone levels.
  • Asexual: A person who does not experience sexual attraction to others, or experiences minimal or infrequent sexual attraction. Asexual individuals may still experience romantic or emotional attraction.
  • + (Plus): The "+" symbol is used to be inclusive of other identities and orientations that may not be explicitly represented by the initialism, such as pansexual, genderqueer, questioning, and more.
3. What is gender-affirmation surgery?
  • Gender-affirmation surgery, also known as gender-confirming surgery or gender reassignment surgery, is a medical procedure or series of procedures that alter a person's physical characteristics to align them with their gender identity. This type of surgery is often sought by transgender individuals as part of their transition process to alleviate gender dysphoria and help them live more authentically.
  • The specific procedures involved in gender-affirmation surgery vary depending on an individual's needs and desires. For transgender women (assigned male at birth but identifying as female), these procedures may include breast augmentation, facial feminization surgery, and genital reconstruction surgery (vaginoplasty). For transgender men (assigned female at birth but identifying as male), procedures may include chest masculinization surgery (top surgery), genital reconstruction surgery (phalloplasty or metoidioplasty), and facial masculinization surgery.
  • It's essential to note that not all transgender individuals undergo gender-affirmation surgery, and transitioning is a deeply personal journey that may involve a variety of medical, social, and legal steps. Additionally, access to gender-affirmation surgery may vary depending on factors such as geographical location, healthcare coverage, and individual circumstances.
4. What is the NALSA vs the Union of India case, 2014?
  • The NALSA vs. Union of India case, 2014, is a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of India that recognized the rights of transgender individuals and affirmed their legal recognition and protection.
  • The case was filed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) on behalf of transgender individuals, seeking legal recognition of their gender identity, protection from discrimination, and access to government welfare schemes and affirmative action programs.
  • In its judgment delivered on April 15, 2014, the Supreme Court recognized transgender people as a third gender, affirming their fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution, including the right to equality and non-discrimination. The court directed the government to take affirmative action to address the social and economic marginalization faced by transgender individuals and to ensure their access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.
  • Additionally, the court recognized the right of transgender individuals to self-identify their gender without undergoing any medical procedures, and it ordered the creation of separate legal recognition and identity documents for transgender people.
  • The NALSA judgment was a significant milestone in the recognition and protection of transgender rights in India, providing legal validation and protection for a marginalized and often discriminated-against community.
5.  Who is considered third-gender?
  • The term "third gender" typically refers to individuals who do not identify strictly as male or female within the traditional binary understanding of gender. These individuals may identify as transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, or any other gender identity that falls outside the conventional categories of male and female.
  • In different cultures and societies, the concept of a third gender may vary widely, and there may be specific terms or categories used to describe individuals who exist outside the male-female binary. For example, in some Indigenous cultures, there are longstanding traditions of recognizing multiple gender identities beyond male and female, such as Two-Spirit people among certain Native American tribes.
  • Overall, the term "third gender" is a recognition of the diversity of gender identities and experiences that exist beyond the binary framework of male and female. It acknowledges and respects the identities of individuals who do not fit neatly into traditional gender categories.
6. What is horizontal reservation?
  • Horizontal reservation refers to the allocation of reserved seats or positions across different categories or groups within a particular population. Unlike vertical reservation, which allocates a certain percentage of seats or positions exclusively to a specific group, horizontal reservation ensures representation from various categories or groups within the population.
  • For example, in the context of government jobs or educational institutions, horizontal reservation may involve allocating a certain percentage of seats or positions to different categories such as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), economically weaker sections (EWS), persons with disabilities (PWD), women, and other marginalized or underrepresented groups.
  • Horizontal reservation aims to promote diversity, inclusion, and equitable representation by ensuring that multiple categories of individuals have access to opportunities. It recognizes that various groups within a population may face different forms of social, economic, or educational disadvantage and seeks to address these disparities through targeted reservation policies.
For Prelims:  Indian Polity and Governance
For Mains: GS-II: Governance and Polity
Source: Indianexpress

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