On December 19th our group went to Pondicherry to visit several NGO’s, one of them being Sahodaran. Sahodaran is a male sexual health project however, the organization also touches on all members of the LGBTQ+ community. Here we were greeted and spoken to by Sheethal, a transgender woman who has been a part of Sahodaran for several years. She talked to us about what it is like being a transgender woman here in Pondicherry and the hardships that those in her position face. She emphasized one of the hardest and most impactful parts of being transgender, that being the family shame and exile. This is why, not only in India, but it is also so hard for those who may feel they may want to join this community, to do so. This results in large suicide rates as well as misinformation being spread throughout communities on the topic. Sahodaran tries to prevent this with several different services that inform about STDs, and even give shelter to those who may have been kicked out of their homes. Transgender rights are a focus of Sahodaran because unlike sexual orientation, it is impossible to hide. Due to this, members of the transgender communities have a harder time participating in society and are more likely to be discriminated against, commonly (in Pondicherry) with violence.  

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