In the changing time and scenario, a lot of pro-LGBT movements and allied supports are propping up all over the world in support of the LGBTQ+ community. It is an amazing thing to happen, both for the community as well as for the society at large. And we can only hope the number of voices of LGBT representation in different fields will only increase.
But at the core of it all lies the main problem that is hardly ever addressed amidst all these – where will LGBT people get help from when they are being harassed, when they are thrown out of homes, when they are denied physiological and psychological healthcare, when they cannot get legal support?
Source: Sabrang India
These are the real questions that need answers, because it the immediate legal, medical and social supports that will help fix things at the grassroots level.
We wrote an article a week ago about ten NGOs who are doing good work in this regard. The article had ten names from different cities around India who are doing their best to provide such assistance to the LGBT community and also create a safe space for them.
You can read the article here: Indian NGOs working with the LGBTQI+ community
However, neither is this list exhaustive, nor is it nearly enough for the entire LGBT community of India – open or closeted. In this article we have tried to bring together at least some more possible helping hands that are doing their part for the community.
Accommodation Services – G.H.A.R.
For those who have been ousted from their families, it is especially difficult to find any other form of support without a roof over their head. G.H.A.R. or Gay Housing Assistance Resource, established by LGBT advocate and editor of Gaylaxy Magazine (Hindi) Sachin Jain (picture below), addresses this issue actively. It is a pan-Indian location-based bulletin board for LGBT people to find short, medium and long term accommodation via the online platform.
Initially starting their journey with E-groups in 1998, it is now a closed Facebook group with more than 5000 members, LGBT people and allies combined. People willing to rent out or rent in accommodations, find flatmates or buy/sell accommodations within the LGBT community and allies, can enlist themselves by sending a joining request and then find a place to stay by communicating with other members.
While this is not a free of cost facility, it certainly helps when no housing society is willing to give you rooms because of one’s gender or sexuality, and even if they do, the individuals are made subject to daily harassment in the hands of the neighbours. Moreover, by the very nature of the organization, the rent rates are comfortably reasonable in most occasions.
This is their Facebook page where one can send requests for joining: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ghar.mumbai
The Online Directory – Reach Out by Varta Trust
Recently, on June 28th, an online database for LGBT-friendly services catering to 15 states and 30 cities was launched at the American Center in Kolkata. This project is a result of the trinity between Varta Trust, an advocate organization regarding gender and sexuality, SAATHII, an NGO that works with LGBT people and HIV patients and Grindr, the American queer dating app.
Source: The Telegraph India (Calcutta)
The directory database at present has around 50 services, broadly classified into:
– Sexual health
– Mental health
– Legal aid
There are several subcategories within each of these branches.
Sexual health includes centres for HIV diagnosis and treatment, gender transition and sex reassignment surgeries and other general matters.
Mental health encompasses different psychological issues that might sprout from staying closeted or coming out, being emotionally harassed and abused, other relationship issues – the spectrum is vast. We also have an article on the various mental health issues an LGBT person can be susceptible to potentially.
Read the piece here: LGBT Community and Mental Health Issues
Legal aid covers everything from disinheritance, harassment complaints, sexual assault, denial of rights and everything else.
To find support in their own state or a neighbouring one, all one needs to do is go to their website www.vartagensex.org, click on the button in green on the right side that says ‘Resources – Health and Legal Service Providers’, mention their state of residence, location and nature of service. The list of available options will be provided to the user to choose from.
Here is a direct link to the reach-out section on the website: Reach Out by Varta Trust
Online LGBT platform Fifty Shades of Gay has brought together a comprehensive list of NGOs and helpline numbers in 12 cities of India. All the listed NGOs work towards providing best possible social, financial, medical and legal support to whoever reaches out to them for assistance.
Here is a link to the list of NGOs and their contact details: Fifty Shades of Gay – helpline list
Hope this was of help for those who need/want it.