In 2018, India experienced a historic moment when Section 377 was declared unconstitutional. Bringing a change in the mindset of society for something that was not only looked down upon but also considered a criminal offense has been a gradual process. The perspective and acceptance that the LGBTIQ community is now receiving is the result of years of hard work.
Various LGBTIQ organizations and NGOs, through their resolve and tenacity, have brought about a tectonic shift by creating a safe space for this faction of society. Here are some LGBTIQ organizations in India that champion this cause.
Querrythm is a community organization based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It works mainly for the rights, growth and safeguarding of LGBTIQ rights. The organization gained prominence in 2017 for helping Zara Sheikha, the first transgender woman in Kerala, get a job with a multinational company and come to terms with her identity. According to its rule “coming out means coming home”, its purpose is solely to build a society that does not discriminate against any faction on the grounds of gender and sexual minorities.
Helpline: 097478 11406
This Pride month we demand equal and fair spaces for all marginalized people of gender, class, caste, disability, neurodivergent, non-binary and queer. We also demand monetary benefits for all queer people who are sought after for their life stories by the mainstream media and pic.twitter.com/xyrhpKygfO
– NazariyaQFRG (@NazariyaQFRG) June 3, 2022
Credit: Twitter / NazariyaQFRG
Nazariya is a queer feminist resource group that works for bisexual, gay, and trans women who are assigned female at birth. The Delhi-based organization was formed in 2014 and has since established a presence in South Asia. In addition to organizing workshops and seminars, Nazariya also provides case-based counseling and advocates for the rights of community members.
Service phone: 9818151707
Credit: Instagram / Queerabad
Based in Ahmedabad, Queerabad works to create a safe space for gays and genderqueers across the country. Building community is at the heart of this LGBTIQ organization. Founded by Shamini Kothari and Anahita Sarabhai, Queerabad focuses on increasing spaces for broad engagement with people who don’t necessarily identify as queer or trans, but are interested in being allies.
Helpline: 063587 32980
4. Harmless hugs
Credit: Instagram/Harmless Hugs
Harmless Hugs started out as a secret online community, but has now grown exponentially. Founded in 2012 by Vinay Kumar, Harmless Hugs supports initiatives both online and on the ground that focus on female empowerment and building LGBTIQ communities. They organize workshops and events like Queer Holi, Delhi Queer Theater and Film Festival.
You can also contact them through their Facebook page.
5. Sappho for Equality
The organization derives its name from the renowned Greek poet Sappho. She advocates for the rights of gay, bisexual, and trans men who were assigned female at birth. Sappho for Equality acts as an emotional support group and is the first of its kind registered in East India. Bridging the gap between the normative and non-normative communities, the organization provides counseling services, crisis intervention, etc.
Helpline: +91 98315 18320
Prime & Social Images Credit: Instagram/primevideoin and iStock