The First Phase: Mobilising, setting up

The Humsafar Trust has played a pivotal role in the initiation, formation and kick-starting of Integrated Network for Sexual Minorities (INFOSEM). For more than a decade, the Humsafar Trust has been a volunteer for INFOSEM and has also assisted in the administrative processes of the network.

Looking into the New Millennium

In the year 2000, The Humsafar Trust helped in bringing together 32 organisations working on Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) issues across the country, at the consultation ‘Looking into the new Millennium’.

 

The primary aim of the consultation was to review the situation of the LGBT community in the country and draw up a plan for an all India network. The sessions in the consultation focused on issues related to human rights, gender and sexuality, proposal writing, fund raising, networking and sharing of resources. In addition, the sessions focused on understanding the impact of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) on Men having Sex with Men (MSM) and Male-to-Female (M to F) transgender persons.

Around 32 organisations working with sexual minorities such as Men having Sex with Men (MSM), self-identified gay men, bisexuals, Male to Female Transgender persons (M to F), lesbian and bisexual women attended the consultation. It was funded by NACO, MDACS, UNAIDS, DFID besides private well- wishers of the Humsafar Trust like Richard Winger, Joseph McCormick and some others in USA and other countries.

The final outcome of the three-day consultation was a decision that a national network be set up for the sexual minorities including representations from the entire LGBT community and that the network will work collectively towards the health and human rights of the sexual minorities in India.

Invitations to join the network were sent to select community organizations as well as organizations with a strong community component. The India Network for Sexual Minorities (INFOSEM) was thus, formed by a group of community organizations that came together to work towards achieving common goals. The initial India Network had to be later changed to Integrated Network For Sexual Minorities for the purpose of registration.

The formation of the network was formally announced at a press conference held in Mumbai in October 2003.