Building Safe Spaces: Organizations Creating Inclusive Environments for Queer Folk

India has recently seen some strides in the freedom of expression of one’s own sexuality and diverse range of identities along with some setbacks. We have seen the striking down of Section 377 in the context of homosexual relationships but at the same time seen disappointing judgements on recognition of same sex marriages. Despite the decriminalization of homosexuality, the years of phobia that have been built over time remains in the psyche of the people. Changing hearts and minds is a very gradual and painstaking process. Most of the queer folk out there still cannot express their identity. Most remain in the shadows, afraid of physical and psychological harm if they were to show who they truly are, who they love, who they see themselves as; pretending to be someone society wants them to be. There are many organisations in India who work tirelessly to make coming out and being themselves easy for the many members of the queer community, a little easier, one at a time. This list is curated for all the queer folx out there who could use the help, to simply be oneself; a right most people take for granted.

Gaysi Family

Gaysi Family began as a blog in 2008 and has since evolved into a media platform offering a safe online space for queer individuals across Southeast Asia to share their stories and connect with their community.

https://www.instagram.com/gaysifamily/

Nazariya

Established in 2014 by a group of Delhi-based queer feminist activists, Nazariya is a queer feminist resource group dedicated to addressing the issues faced by LBT individuals assigned female at birth. Nazariya offers both online and offline counseling and integrates a queer perspective into initiatives related to livelihoods, education, and health.

https://www.instagram.com/nazariya.qfrg/

Goodasyou

Established in 1994 and located in Bengaluru, Goodasyou is one of the nation’s oldest and longest-running LGBTQ+ support groups. They provide legal assistance and moral support and free counselling services to peop.le experiencing discrimination due to sexuality or gender. They also have support groups for parents and siblings along with members. 

https://www.instagram.com/goodasyou.blr/

All India Queer Association

AIQA is a feminist and Ambedkerite non-profit organisation. They provide affordable therapy for queer folx. They work on increasing visibility of queerness and improving awareness through panel discussions and advocacy. 

https://www.instagram.com/aiqafoundation/

Ya_All (Pronounced Yawol)

It is the first registered queer and youth-led organisation amongst the North-eastern states. They hold open-mics, inclusive sports matches and try to foster an overall more accepting society.

https://www.instagram.com/ya.all.northeast/

While the journey towards acceptance and equality is long and often challenging, these organizations are making significant strides in creating safe and inclusive spaces for queer individuals in India. By offering support, advocacy, and a sense of community, they help pave the way for a future where everyone can freely express their identity without fear. If you or someone you know needs support, don’t hesitate to reach out to these incredible organizations and take advantage of the resources they provide. Remember, being yourself is a right that everyone deserves.