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#PrideMonth: These 7 Organisations Are Helping India’s Queer Community Find Its Voice

#PrideMonth: These 7 Organisations Are Helping India’s Queer Community Find Its Voice

From fighting archaic laws to convincing society to accept them as they are, the challenges are plenty.

The mainstreaming of LGBTQIA community in our society is a process that does not happen overnight. From fighting archaic laws to convincing society to accept them as they are, challenges faced by queer people in India are plenty.

However, in recent years, there has been increased visibility of people who identify as queer — be it in our literature, movies or news media. A large part of the credit goes to social media, which has amplified the voice of the marginalized minority. But we still have a long way to go as each queer voice is different from the other.

In this direction, many organisations are coming up to work towards the welfare of the community and reinventing with its ever-evolving needs. The following are few of these unique organisations and collectives serving the LGBTQIA folks among us, from helping them come to terms with their identity to finding them jobs.

Just like the community, each of these groups is different from the other.

Image for Representation/WIKICOMMONS
  1. PeriFerry – The Chennai-based startup describes itself as a “social entrepreneurship initiative” that acts as a platform to connect inclusive employers with potential transgender employees. They also promote LGBTIQ+ sensitization in workplaces.
    You can read more about them here.
  2. Queerythm – This community-based organization began as a support group for LGBTIQ people in Trivandrum, Kerala. They have regular monthly meetings on first Saturdays at the premises of Alliance Francaise. The organization helps LGBTIQ community in every way it can from organizing visibility programmes to lending a helping hand to individual members. This is the same organization that helped Zara Sheikha, the first transgender person in Kerala to work in an MNC, get a job with UST Global!
    Read more about Queerythm here.
  3. Srishti Madurai – Founded by Gopi Shankar, a gender non-conforming activist, Srishti Madurai is made up of people from all walks of life, including human rights activists, independent scholars, and genderqueer activists. It provides a 24×7 helpline and face-to-face counselling for the community. The organisation also conducts workshops and seminars for school children to make them more compassionate and empathetic towards their queer compatriots.
    You can learn more about them here.

    Image for Representation. Flickr/ Vinayaka Das
  4. Humsafar Trust – This list would be incomplete without mentioning Humsafar Trust in Mumbai, which claims to be the oldest organisation in the country working for the LGBTQIA community. Founded by writer and LGBT rights activist Ashok Row Kavi in late 1980s, its projects cover issues concerning health and advocacy to capacity building and research.
    You can learn more about them here and here.

    You may also like: How Art Is Breaking Myths & Stereotypes about India’s Queer Community

  5. Asexuality India – A in LGBTQIA stands for Asexual, the minority among the sexual minorities and the most misunderstood of them all. Asexual people (or aces) do not experience sexual attraction towards anybody. This is different than being celibate, where you’re voluntarily abstaining from sex. Asexuality India, was founded by Poornima Kumar and Sai Kumar in 2015, due to the lack of Indian perspective in AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network), the global community for Aces.
    You can learn more about them here and here.
  6. Queer Arts Movement, India – Founded in 2014 in Bengaluru, the movement aims “to give Queer Artists from cities and towns across India, a friendly platform to share their talent with the world around them”. So, if you’re an artist and belong to the LGBTQIA community, this is your chance to showcase your talent!
    You can learn more about them here.
  7. Queer India Collective – Formerly known as Bangalore Queer Collective, the Queer India Collective wants to build a bridge between society and the queer community through media, arts and entertainment. It is known for its innovative campaigns like Queer the Night 1.0, which aimed to liven up the queer scene in Hyderabad.
    You can know more about them here.

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