US to spend $50k to seed India with 'Pride/Rainbow' groups

Program to foster work environments in select Indan corporations that are "safe, nurturing, accepting, and inclusive for members of the TG community" follows $20,000 grant for drag shows in Ecuador.

Updated: November 27, 2022 - 6:12am

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The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just The News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.

This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the State Department for a $50,000 grant to promote the rights of the transgender and LGBTQI+ community in India.

Posted by the U.S. Mission to India, the grant seeks to fund "Pride/Rainbow groups" within select large corporations in India to raise "awareness about TG persons and their rights" and "foster a more inclusive work environment, and develop active transgender employee recruitment plans," according to the award notice.

Under the grant, "Countering Stigma and Prejudice Against the Transgender Community," the grantee is expected to organize "workshops and information sessions for employees (at all levels within the organization), human resources professionals, and leadership of 15-25 different business corporations (with 500 employees or more) in Hyderabad and Chennai over a period of one year, focused on creating awareness about and countering stigma and prejudice against transgender persons." 

The workshops are intended to encourage participating Indian businesses to adopt changes "that foster a work environment that is safe, nurturing, accepting, and inclusive for members of the TG community," explains the grant synopsis. "A longer-term outcome is that these corporations and businesses increase their hiring of members of the TG community and help their employees and the general public be more accepting."

This new grant opportunity follows a $20,000 grant previously awarded by State for drag shows in Ecuador, according to federal spending watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com.

That grant, which runs for another nine months, was awarded by the department's Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for a cultural center in Ecuador to host drag theater performances. The program includes 12 drag theater performances, a 2-minute documentary and three workshops. The State Department aims to "promote diversity and inclusion" in the region through these U.S. taxpayer-funded performances.

The State Dept. did not respond to a request for comment on these grants.

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