Indian LGBTIQ Leadership Academy Trainees meet with government officials in Hyderabad to discuss transgender issues

On July 24, 2017, 20 participants from the LGBTIQ Leadership Academy in India, organized by Solidarity Foundation and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, met with Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Additional Commissioner, Bhaskara Chary, and other civic authorities at the department headquarters to learn about their developmental activities and to engage with them about implementing LBGTI-inclusive policies into their structures. Hyderabad is the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana and the fourth most populous city in India, with a population of almost 7 million people.

Some of the participants specifically requested that the GHMC extend help to transgender individuals, as the department does for the poor, the elderly, the needy and other disadvantaged members of society. The Commissioner responded positively and directed them to the appropriate State channels so that their request could be processed.

This meeting occurred right after the third module of the Leadership Academy, which ran from July 21 -23.  The third module was titled “Advocacy, Communication, and Messaging” and aimed to help participants develop key communication and social skills for political leadership.  Key topics included public speaking techniques, debate techniques, managing journalistic interviews, conflict resolution, the art of meetings, and coalition building.

Participants attended the advocacy meeting with the GHMC the day after the training, freshly prepared and motivated to advocate for change.  In calling attention to transgender issues during this meeting with GHMC, the participants have already begun flexing their newfound leadership skills in an effort to advance LGBTIQ equality. Opportunities like these also expand their political network and connect their activism to local government bodies. The fourth and final training session of the Leadership Academy will take place in Bengaluru from September 18 to 20 and will focus on electoral campaign techniques.

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