5 LGBTQ+ Organisations In India Working Towards Queer Liberation

Illustration by: @liberaljane

Commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots, the month-long celebration of love, acceptance and self-pride has become a global phenomenon over the years. India celebrated a major milestone in 2018 with Section 377 being ruled unconstitutional—and while that brought talks about the rights of the LGBTQ+ community to the surface, the journey towards queer liberation is still an uphill battle. Amplifying the voice of the LGBTQ+ community, here are 5 organisations in India that are working for the welfare of the community, spreading awareness and sensitising people against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. 

1. Humsafar Trust 

”Your identity is a reason for pride, not a reason to hide” says The Humsafar Trust founded in April 1994 by Ashok Row Kavi. It became the first openly Gay Community Based Organisation to be allotted space in a Municipal building in Mumbai and began its activities by inviting gay men and lesbian women to attend its workshops at its drop-in centre. The HIV interventions of The Humsafar Trust are supported by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) to provide health services through Public Health Care delivery systems and its In-house clinics. They also provide legal support, crisis management, mental health and nutrition counselling to its communities and run support groups, like YAARIYAN for young LGBTQ people, UMANG for LBT persons and SANJEEVANI for persons living with HIV.

2. Indian Aces 

Indian Aces was started in 2014 by Dr Pragati Singh as a self/non-funded collective of, for, and by ace (asexual) and aspec (asexual spectrum) people from/in India. Over the years, they have expanded beyond asexuality to include hard-hitting research, advocacy, workshops and events across the subjects of gender, sexuality, diversity and LGBTQIA+. They serve as an online community platform, generating awareness as well as participating in various LGBTQIA+ events.

3. Sappho for Equality

Based in Kolkata, Sappho for Equality was established in October 2003 and 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). Their vision is to see a society free of sexuality-based discrimination, where rights of the sexual minorities will be ensured. Sappho for Equality works with a three-pronged approach—community empowerment, addressing general civil society and networking with other groups/organisations and advocacy/lobbying with the State.

4. Ya_All

The first registered queer and youth-led organisation in the North East Region of India, Ya-All which reads as Yawol in Manipuri translates to Revolution. They are an LGBT+Straight Alliance created with the mission to educate, equip and empower adolescents, youths and queer community through life skills, advocacy, research and capacity building on health, education, livelihoods and overall well-being. The vision is to attain an equal discrimination-free society with equal opportunities for all.

5. Nazariya

Nazariya was formed in October 2014 by a group of Delhi-based queer feminist activists. It was started to sensitize the work and culture of groups and individuals working on issues of gender-based violence, livelihoods, education, and health from a queer perspective through research & evaluations, capacity building, and advocacy. With a focus on queer women and trans persons, Nazariya works with a view to make LGBTQIA+ lives visible.

Find out about more such NGOs and support groups at lgbtqindiaresource.in

- Digital Writer


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