Disclaimer: Originally published in June 2019. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
By Prateek Gupta
Somewhere in between Bobby Darling and Aligarh, representation and dialogue about LGBTQIA+ issues has found both its medium and listeners.
Yet hundreds upon hundreds of queer individuals struggle through their teen years trying to find answers to questions that cannot be asked.
The Delhi University has a whooping strength of more than 1,32,000 regular students. This means that it would be safe to estimate that there are somewhere between 1320 to 13,200 queer students attending classes in DU alone, which is but one of the many universities in Delhi!
Delhi Colleges: A Safe Space
Many queer kids who face rampant prejudice and bullying in schools find college to be a breath of fresh air; college life provides great opportunities to kids who are questioning or are curious about their sexual and gender identity to explore themselves.
Moreover, dozens, if not hundreds, of queer teenagers pack their bags for Delhi each year, looking not just for a better education but also a safe space.
Saying that obviously not all colleges provide such safe spaces nor do they impart appropriate knowledge to empower the community, yet college is a life changing point for a lot of queer people.
Still A Long Way To Go
The lack of queer student body in colleges presents a situation more problematic than the cis-all-hetero majority would like to accept.
There are indeed Women Development Cells, popularly called WDCs, in most colleges, but their interests in queer affairs are… irregular to say the least. Although Hansraj’s Gender Equality Cell is one of the few societies that provide an inclusive space to LGBT people.
Coming out and questioning are immensely difficult phases in lives of queer people and a lack of emotional or personal support can send a sane mind spiraling into clutches of anxiety and depression.
The lack of visibility of LGBTQIA+ NGOs in colleges and campuses also leads to the isolation of queer individuals in colleges.
Apps To The Rescue
It only becomes natural after all this that hookup apps like Grindr and PlanetRomeo have become the orientation place for many queer individuals.
This poses the community with a huge problem; not ethical, but situational. People from all wakes of life use these platforms and not everyone is capable of dealing with questioning folks with the patience and empathy they need.
New users also seldom fall for fake profiles; these fake users can be a danger to one’s identity, data, security and even life.
It is too soon to forget Ayush Nautiyal, a student from Ram Lal Anand College who was murdered by a bad Grindr date last March.
Many knew Ayush through Tinder and Grindr, and the news came as a shock to the entire community.
Thus, there needs to be an accessible counseling and grievance college body for queer students. The necessity of initiating dialogue about safe spaces becomes imperative to form a healthier community.
Some organizations which queer people can reach out to:
The Naz Foundation
Contact: email@example.com (+91 1141325042)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (+91 9868653014)
Contact: +91 1146016699
The Quart Project
Contact: Arpit Bhalla (+91 8929265046)
We have come a long way and still much is left to be done.
But there’s hope and that’s a good thing.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image Credits: Deeksha