Estimated Total Population:

1.353 billion

World Bank, 2018

Estimated SGM Population:



Estimated Total SGM Adult Population:



Estimated % of SGM Adults (18+):



In India, homosexuality is considered to be a crime under section 377, which refers to ‘unnatural offenses’, of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 . DespiteIndia being one among several countries with the denomination of a third gender (hijra), human rights for SGM populations remain difficult. Many individuals continuously face stigma and mental, physical, emotional, and economic violence in their respective communities and spaces. Moreover, most studies or literature about SGM populations in India are concerned with HIV health risks and have little consideration of mental health.

India's Laws and Policies from ILGA World Report (2019)

Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
Civil Unions
Joint Adoption
Second Parent Adoption
Employment Nondiscrimination Laws
Broad Protections
Criminalization of Violence
Ban of Conversion Therapy
Consensual Same-Sex Acts are Legal?
Does Not Apply
Max Penalty (Yrs in Prison)
Does Not Apply

Selected Published Studies, Reports, and Other Documents

Asthana, S., & Oostvogels, R. (2001). The social construction of male ‘homosexuality’ in India: Implications for HIV transmission and prevention. Social Science and Medicine, 52, 707–721.

Bowling, J. (2016). Risk and protective health behaviors among sexual minority females in mumbai, india (Order No. 10143626). Available from GenderWatch; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1824672507). Retrieved from

Bowling J., Dodge B., Banik S., Bartelt E., Rawat S., Guerra-Reyes L., Hensel D., Herbenick D., Anand V. (2017) A multi-method study of health behaviours and perceived concerns of sexual minority females in Mumbai, India. Sexual Health 15, 29-38.

Chakrapani, V., Vijin, P. P., Logie, C. H., Newman, P. A., Shunmugam, M., Sivasubramanian, M., & Samuel, M. (2017). Understanding How Sexual and Gender Minority Stigmas Influence Depression Among Trans Women and Men Who Have Sex with Men in India. LGBT Health, 4(3), 217–226. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2016.0082

Chettiar, A. (2015). Problems Faced by Hijras (Male to Female Transgenders) in Mumbai with Reference to Their Health and Harassment by the Police. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 5(9), 752–759. doi: 10.7763/ijssh.2015.v5.551

Dey, S., Das, A., Raul, S., Sen, S., Shaw, T., Saha, D., ... Chatterjee, D. (2011). The identities of gendered sexual subjectivity: A report on MSM performances in Kothi network in urban West Bengal. Journal of Department of Anthropology, 12, 167–177.

Kumta, S., Lurie, M., Weitzen, S., Jerajani, H., Gogate, A., Row-kavi, A., Anand, V., Makadon, H., & Mayer, K. H. (2010). Bisexuality, sexual risk taking, and HIV prevalenceamong men who have sex with men accessing voluntary counseling and testing services in Mumbai, India. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 53(2), 227–233.

Logie, C. H., Newman, P. A., Chakrapani, V., & Shunmugam, M. (2012). Adapting the minority stress model: Associations between gender non-conformity stigma, HIV-related stigma and depression among men who have sex with men in South India. Social Science and Medicine, 74, 1261–1268.

Mimiaga, M.J., Closson, E.F., Thomas, B. et al. Garnering an In-depth Understanding of Men Who Have Sex with Men in Chennai, India: A Qualitative Analysis of Sexual Minority Status and Psychological Distress. Arch Sex Behav44, 2077–2086 (2015).

National AIDS Control Organization of India. (2013b). A technical brief, 2012–2013. New Delhi: Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Sivasubramanian, M., Mimiaga, M. J., Mayer, K. H., Anand, V. R., Johnson, C. V., Prabhugate, P., ... Safren, S. A. (2011). Suicidality, clinical depression, and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in men who have sex with men in Mumbai, India: Findings from a community-recruited sample. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 16, 450–462.

Thomas, B., Mimiaga, M. J., Mayer, K. H., Closson, E. F., Johnson, C. V., Menon, S., ... Safren, S. A. (2012). Ensuring it works: A community-based approach to HIV prevention intervention development for men who have sex with men in Chennai, India. AIDS Education and Prevention, 24, 483–499.

Welles, S. L., Baker, A. C., Miner, M. H., Brennan, D. J., Jacoby, S., & Rosser, B. R. (2009). History of childhood sexual abuse and unsafe anal intercourse in a 6-city study of HIV-positive men who have sex with men. American Journal of Public Health,99, 1079–1086.