A famous college in southern India has introduced studies in ‘gender queer and intersex’ into its literature curriculum.
The American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, will teach about 58 different gender identities, the Times of India reported this weekend.
‘We want students to understand sex, gender and sexuality well, as we are all going to live together in the same society,’ the newspaper quoted head of the Tamil literature department V Prabhakaran as saying.
Students will study Gopi Shankar Madurai’s book ‘Maraikkapatta Pakkangal.’
The book includes information on 58 genders including pangender, androgyny, bigender, neutroi, retransitioners, and transbinary.
The American College is one of India’s oldest colleges and was founded in 1881.
In 2008, it led the way in transgender studies in India by including several novels and books written by activists on the subject in its curriculum.
‘Similarly, when we came across a book on the gender queer and entire LGBTQIA community in Tamil, we decided to add it to the syllabus so that people understand them better,’ said Prabhakaran, according to the Times of India.
In 2014, India allowed transgender people to change gender without reassignment surgery. India’s constitution recognizes the right to register under a third gender.
LGBTI people in India, however, face widespread stigma and discrimination.
The country’s Supreme Court is currently considering overturning a colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex sexual intercourse.
The American College did not immediately respond to a request for comment.