The Aii welcomed a diverse panel of speakers and expertise to its latest Question Marks panel discussion on “How is India Changing the Global Discussion on Transgender Rights?” Structured as an open-ended conversation about nine orders aimed at improving transgender life in India that the Supreme Court of India handed down in its landmark 2014 National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India decision, panellists reflected on changing understandings of gender identity, sexuality, and the law around the globe and in India and Australia alike.
To be sure, these understandings are changing, but panelists—including Jeff Redding from the Australia India Institute, Michelle McNamara from Transgender Victoria, Ben Hegarty from Deakin University, and J.R. Latham from Melbourne University—also stressed the long history of transgender life around the globe in locales as diverse as India, Pakistan, Australia, and Indonesia. As well, panellists discussed the continuing challenges that transgender people face socially and legally, and how these challenges are very much a contemporary reality in Australia. And indeed, in this respect, the on-going discussion of transgender rights in India provides insight into how legal, political, and social protections for transgender people can be structured, not only in India but also other countries confronting demands for change vis-à-vis the legal regulation of gender and sexuality difference.
Missed the event? Check out a recording of the panel discussion below!