If you’re Indian and queer, then you should know that there is a lot of activity in the LGBT space that you can get you and your close ones involved in. This post lists all the LGBT groups in India and how one can reach out to them.
Unfortunately, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code introduced during the British rule in India makes sex with persons of the same gender punishable by law. Homosexuality is a taboo in this country and homophobia is still prevalent in India, primarily because conversations about sexuality and sex in any form is rarely discussed openly.
Few of the major LGBT groups in India are
- The Humsafar Trust Mumbai
- The Naz Foundation (India) Trust- Delhi
- Gay Bombay- Mumbai
- Udaan Trust- Maharashtra
- AHF India- Delhi
- Harmless Hugs- Delhi
- Sappho for Equality- Kolkata
- Lakshaya Trust- Gujarat
- Orinam- Chennai
- The Gaysi Family
- Arranged Gay Marriage- Secunderabad (India)
- Astitva Trust Mumbai
- Qgraphy Mumbai
- 6Degrees LGBTQ Growth Network
This article explores all the LGBT groups in India in depth and how they are trying to change the way society looks at LGBT individuals while ensuring the community is getting support at all aspects be it legal, counseling, health etc.
1) The Humsafar Trust Mumbai
The Humsafar Trust is the oldest LGBTQ group in India. It was founded in 1994 by Ashok Row Kavi, a reputed journalist, an activist at a time when there was no talk and no national level movement for LGBTQ human rights.
They also run advocacy related projects with local police, lawyers and media houses like the Bombay Dost. Finally, Humsafar also conducts regular workshops to build awareness of LGBTQ issues in the country and provides counseling.
Yaariyan is the youth wing of the Humsafar trust, known for working towards health and human rights of sexual minorities since 1994. Yaariyan has an online platform reaching out to 6000+ people, organizing offline events and facilitating LGBTQ youth access to health and social support. Yaariyan has been actively organizing some fantastic event for the LGBTQ community since years.
You can contact them at http://humsafar.org/
2) The Naz Foundation (India) Trust- Delhi
The Naz Foundation (India) Trust, abbreviated as Naz India, is a New Delhi-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) working on HIV/AIDS and sexual health issues since 1994.
They aim to sensitive the general population to the prevalence of HIV, and to highlight issues related to sexuality and sexual health. Naz India is a registered charitable trust that is also registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
You can visit them on http://nazindia.org/naz-india/
3) Gay Bombay- Mumbai
Gay Bombay is an informal, ever-evolving, and safe socio-cultural space for gay folks in Mumbai. Founded in September 1998 they have organized more than 800+ events since the last 2 decades to the likes of parties, treks, picnics, film festivals, cooking meets, kite flying events, art meets, speed dating brunches etc and we have featured them here.
Gay Bombay has also facilitated parents meet and conducted workshops on safe sex practices. They have conducted sessions on various topics like depression, HIV/AIDS stigma, financial stability and Section 377. One of the primary objectives of Gay Bombay is to create comfort around alternate sexualities for individuals and their families and friends.
Their website is www.gaybombay.org. They also have a Facebook page with 2000+ members.
4) Udaan Trust- Maharashtra
The Udaan Trust is an Indian non-governmental organization operating in the state of Maharashtra. It was founded in 1992 & is the first HIV/AIDS organization founded by homosexuals living with HIV/AIDS. Udaan focuses on issues of sexual health within the homosexual and transgender communities, particularly regarding the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
To accomplish this, Udaan provides services such as condom distribution, sex education, counseling, and medical services to at-risk populations. Udaan is funded through personal donations and attends to a network of an estimated 1500 people living with HIV. Their website is http://www.udaantrust.org/
5) AHF India- Delhi
AHF India (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) began work in India in 2004 & has emerged as a preeminent HIV/AIDS organization. Based out of Los Angeles (USA), this organization is a global nonprofit organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to more than 855963 people in 39 countries. They are currently the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S.A
AHF funds its mission to rid the world of AIDS through a network of pharmacies, thrift stores, healthcare contracts and other strategic partnerships.
AHF India provides free STD/STI tests and also counsels people on safe sex practices and aims to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS.
You can access AHF India’s website by visiting https://www.aidshealth.org/#/archives/countries/india
6) Harmless Hugs- Delhi
Harmless Hugs was found on 10 September 2012 as a social collective. It is a dynamic platform driven by the core values of unity in diversity and coexistence and it’s Facebook Group- which is an invite-only group has over seven thousand like-minded individuals from across the globe.
Harmless Hugs’ goal is to create a collaborative culture that focuses on free and fair human expression. Harmless hugs is driven by both online as well as ground-based initiatives that empower feminist groups and the LGBTQIA community.
Some of the initiatives by Harmless Hugs include Delhi International Queer Theatre Film Festival, Queer Holi celebrations, LGBTQ+ themed flash-mobs, monthly member meets and very recently, staging queer theatre plays across Delhi and Mumbai.
7) Sappho for Equality- Kolkata
Sappho for Equality, established in October 2003, is the only registered organization in Eastern India that works for the rights and social justice of sexually marginalized women and transmen (female to male transpersons). It uniquely works to create bridges between the so-called normative and non-normative populations in our society and positions gender-sexuality within existing development discourses.
Sappho for Equality provides a host of services to its people including, but not limited to Peer counseling, mental health services, organizing self-intervention workshops etc. They have even run programs aiming to sensitize medical colleges and the police on LGBTQ+ issues.
8) Lakshya Trust- Gujarat
Lakshya is a community-based organization registered as a public charitable trust that has been the center of excellence in the field of sexual health programme for the community since its inception in 2000. It was started by Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil.
The organization works on various issues addressing and advocating the social, economic, legal, psychological, spiritual and health aspects of sexual minorities (Gay, Bisexual and Transgender population) in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
Lakshya primarily works on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention among MSM (men having sex with men) and GBT(gay, bisexual and transgender) in three major cities of Gujarat State of India(Vadodara, Surat, and Rajkot).
Akshaya’s HIV/AIDS-related outreach services reach out to more than 10,000 MSM, female partner of MSM and TG population in these three cities. This work is supported by the local government.
The objectives of this project are to increase condom distribution and usage, reduce incidents of STIs, promote treatment of STIs and lessen STD and HIV/AIDS prevalence.
You can check them at http://lakshyatrust.com
9) Orinam- Chennai
On-the-ground activities including meet-ups, peer counseling and referrals, film festivals and literary events, sensitization workshops, and advocacy and networking with other LGBTI and other progressive groups and movements in the city, state, and country. Orinam (ஓரினம்) is a Tamil word that means ‘One kind’ or ‘One community’.
The Orinam website has multiple resources including letters written to the Chief Justice of India on Section 377, a blog, and resources for families, friends, allies, and professionals that cover topics like coming out, dealing with friends and family, workplace and campus issues, health and wellness among many other resources.
Their website is http://orinam.net/
10) The Gaysi Family
The Gaysi Family was started as a blog to provide a voice and a safe space to desis (people from the South Asian Subcontinent) that identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer. What began as a simple idea of sharing stories about what it meant to be gay and desi (thus, Gaysi!) has evolved into a space with a roster of authors worldwide, diverse content and traffic from countries all over.
Gaysi has been regularly featured in several mainstream media publications and has made also international news.
Gaysi runs an online blog called the Gay Family Blog, an open mic called Dirty Talk and also self-publishes a print magazine called The Gaysi Zine – among many other things. Their social media presence includes over 13000 likes on Facebook, over 5000 likes on Instagram and over 2000 posts overall
Their website is http://gaysifamily.com/
11) Arranged Gay Marriage- Secunderabad (India)
Arranged Gay Marriage, legally registered as Custom Soul Connections LLP is a professional matchmaking service in India for the LGBT+ community looking to find their match for marriage. Started in 2013 by Urvi Shah, this Secunderabad based Arranged Gay Marriage, has helped 21 couples get married.
Since same-sex marriage is still not legal in India, this organization helps facilitate international same-sex marriage for Indian nationals. Her organization not only arranges partnerships but also offers counseling services to clients and their families. Clients fill out forms specifying likes and interests, which are then used to find suitable matches for them.
As of 2017, The Bureau has facilitated the live-in relationship of 36 couples and abroad, 21 couples of mixed ethnicity are either married or engaged. 6 couples comprise both NRI partners and four couples have legally married. Their website is www.arrangedgaymarriage.com
12) Astitva Trust
Astitva Trust is a non-profit Community-Based Organisation founded by Laxmi Narayan Tripathi aiming at support and development of sexual minorities, registered in November 2006. They work with sexual minorities, especially transgender people (hijras).
The main focus is on sexual rights advocacy, sexual health issues, and struggle to create a safe environment and positive attitude towards transgender people in the mainstream society. You can reach them here.
13) Qgraphy Mumbai
Qgraphy is one of the most celebrated LGBTQ groups that started as a secret facebook group in October 2014.
It is a group of Photography enthusiasts that cover various aspects of lives through their lenses. Its a platform for budding and accomplished photographers – likewise; among queer individuals and their allies, to showcase their passion, work, and ideas about photography.
In fact, we would acknowledge that most of the images of pride and other events on our website have been shared with us by Qgraphy.
13)6 Degrees LGBTQ Mumbai
6 Degrees is a venture by Mumbai-based activist, Harish Iyer, Praful Baweja and Sushil.
The idea behind the platform is to create a space and a network amongst the LGBTQ community – wherein the members of the community can network, recruit, looking out for jobs, share ideas or even hone new skills.
By bringing together the voices of the community, the idea is to bring their contribution to the society to the foray.
Its a non-discriminatory space aimed at Skill sharing, Networking amongst people within the LGBTQ community and other (Non-discriminatory you see ! ).
They have monthly sundowner events where professionals from various industries participate and have skill sharing seminars, group discussions and network amongst the fun which comes with clubbing of course.
If you like to attend some of these meetups keep checking our website for regular updates on these.
Know of other LGBT groups in India which couldn’t make it to the list? Drop us a line in the comment section below and we shall update our list.