Oinam Hemabati

Oinam Hemabati

Oinam Hemabati is a trans man activist and leads Empowering Trans Ability, a support forum for lesbians, bisexual women and trans men in Manipur. He is passionate about karate, and lives with Sonia, his partner of 15 years, in Imphal.

  • The photograph is a close-up shot of Oinam Hemabati, also known as Yambung, the author of this article. He is speaking at a community event in Manipur. He is speaking into a stationary microphone. Behind him is a colourful curtain forming a back screen. The curtain has a pattern of illustrations of flowers and comic characters. To the left, the curtain is drawn apart a bit and an old wall clock and a wooden shelf can be seen behind it. The author’s photograph is accompanied by a quote from the article: “This was a clear case of misuse of the law – Dona and Tang were both adults, and how could Section 377 be applicable just because they were a lesbian-trans man couple? And this was happening in spite of the Honourable Supreme Court’s NALSA verdict on transgender rights! The question that keeps bothering me is when will the rights of queer people be truly respected in our society?” Photo credit: Pawan Dhall

    Wrong arm of the law!

    By Oinam Hemabati

    Oinam Hemabati reports on a recent ordeal with the police in Manipur when he was falsely accused of helping a trans man abduct his lesbian partner from her home. And...

  • This main photograph shows an exhibition match that was played between the Empowering Trans Ability (ETA) and Women Football Association teams in Manipur earlier these summers (year 2017). The match, played in a village ground near Imphal, was part of the ‘Village Level 7-A-Side Open Football Tournament’ organized every year by ETA. This match was the only one played in the women’s leg of the tournament. The photograph shows an ETA player dribbling and moving ahead with the ball near the opponent team’s ‘D’ area and penalty box. She is being shadowed by a rival team member, while another rival tries to block her way. There are six other players from both teams in the vicinity. A line referee can be seen in the background, as also a few spectators (some with umbrellas) seated on the sidelines or walking on a lane next to the play ground. A few soldiers seated in an army jeep or standing next to it – an omnipresent sight in Manipur – are among the spectators. The sidelines are marked by small coloured flags hoisted on bamboo poles. In the distant background are fields, trees and hills merging into a grey-blue sky. ETA’s players are dressed in maroon and black striped t-shirts, white shorts and light green socks, while their opponents are in an orange combination. ETA, a queer support forum, aims to empower lesbians, bisexual women and trans men in Manipur through football tournaments like these. Photo credit: ETA
    Aug '17

    Kick-off for gender equity

    By Oinam Hemabati

    Oinam Hemabati, founding member of ETA, a community group of trans men, lesbians and bisexual women in Manipur, presents glimpses from a unique football contest Garnering positive visibility and empowerment...

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