In this section I'm going to be talking about sexual minorities. And here we're looking at the lesbian gay bisexual transgender movements in India, and the ways in which the feminist movement has taken on the issues and concerns of the LGBT movement. To begin with, it's important to state that homosexual behaviours have been part of Indian history for as long as there have been people and this is documented not just in literature but also in temple architecture. If you go to Khajuraho or even in other parts of the country some of the temple friezes, sculptures show both men and women engaged in homosexual sexual activity. So behaviours have, homosexual behaviours have always been observed within the Indian context. But the sort of articulation of of homosexual identities and politics around those identities is a phenomenon of the past couple of decades. Since the early 1990s, in fact, and late late 1980s, early 1990s. And initially the LGBT movements like the Feminist movement was labeled as Western even imperialist interference in local culture. Something that was adopted from abroad and didn't have any local meaning. Local relevance progressive movements looked at it as something that was an elite issue. Only people from sort of middle up you know, they were looking at the activists within the LGBT movements, and arguing that oh, you know, there are more pressing urgent issues. This is the view particularly from the left movements in India. So initially the LGBT movement was seen as something to stay away from. But by the mid 1990s and late well, mid to late 1990s, Feminists within the women's movement in India were beginning to open up to the idea that there was some area of common cause that's challenging. But the kind of challenge that LGBT movements posed to gender the kind of destabilisation of gendered constructs was important as well to the feminist cause and you know, this is drawing on see for an instance the idea of someone like Judith Butler, who sees both sex and gender as social constructions, an outcome of processes of contestation, and process of ideological contestation. And so we have by the late 1990's Feminists who are taking up the LGBT cause. And putting it on the Feminist agenda. Not just because there are some women who are effected, but also looking across across issues, and the intersectionality of issues. So in as much as Feminists are conscious of the intersections caste or religion or other issues. So also thinking about sexuality as an issue that needs to be foregrounded when talking Feminist politics. So what we see then in the Indian context is an intersection of the LGBT movement and Feminist movements in India. And the building up of a very successful campaign to drop Section 377 of the Indian penal code. Now Section 377 is a legacy of the British Colonial period where homosexual acts are criminalised by the section. The UK itself dropped this act many decades ago. However, it remains on the Indian statured books. Now, in 2009 following a very successful campaign by LGBT activist groups and women's groups in India the Delhi high court ruled that the section should be read down, which basically means although it wasn't dropped it should be seen as not applicable to consenting adults so this was hailed as a great victory for the LGBT movement in India, and was welcomed. Not only by the members of the movement, but also by the wider public. Which by this time had seen a significant shift in the levels of social acceptance of lesbians, and gays, and transgendered people in India. So much of the activism that was engaged in by the LGBT movement challenged some of these notions of compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory marriage that are very much part of Indian social norms and values. Importantly, if we refer back to that Verma Commission report that I mentioned in the section on violence against women, one of the important inclusions of the Verma Commission report was acknowledging that LGBT people were should also be considered within the scope of sexual assault laws. Which of course, as I mentioned was reversed by the Home Ministry, but we have to recognise that this was quite a significant step forward for the commission to even make this recognition. However, in December 2013, the Delhi High Court judgement that that dropped section 377 was reversed by the Supreme Court and this is now, this reversal was met with, great protests and as well as a sense of, having gone backwards. Yeah, so we had a couple of years when homosexuality was decriminalised in India, and then now it's going back to a state of being re-criminalised. Which is somewhat absurd. And, yet it is, a legal battle that it hasn't ended. It's continuing where now it's pending review. This judgement has been there's been a petition against this judgement, and it's pending review by a five judge panel. Now, regardless of what the outcome is, of this review on the Supreme Court judgment we have to consider the judgment in the light of the other kinds of legislative change that I've been talking about, that it's really not… while decriminalising homosexuality is important and should certainly be a part of what we're struggling for in terms of in terms of progressive movements, it again is insufficient that that the wider sort of issues around acceptance of homosexuality and issues around say, for instance, recognition of partnerships are still are still on the table. And would still be on the table, even if homosexuality was decriminalised. So what's important to note here though, is that sexuality and the issues of sexual minorities have been firmly placed on the agenda of the Feminist movement or the women's rights movement in India. So, with the next section, I'll be talking about another group that is a section minority group in India - sex workers - and the ways in which their issues have also been put on the feminist agenda.