If the recent remarks made during the ongoing legal arguments around same sex marriages are anything to go by, the LGBTQiA+ community still suffers from a lot of misconception prevalent in society. The good news is that there are also numerous resources in various formats for all of us to learn from, be it books, podcasts, social media accounts and even some in the professional networking space.
Founded by strategy consultant Abhishek Ghosh, Qonnect is a platform to connects, collaborates and creates a community of queer professionals to nurture LGBTQiA+ role models in leadership and turbo-charge career development through mentorship. Qonnect also provides peer-to-peer mentorship programmes, connecting students and professionals who are starting out with industry seniors, holds fireside chats with LGBTQiA+ leaders and allies and promotes the exchange of ideas and resources related to diversity and inclusion. Qonnect's linktree page provides links to their website, LinkedIn and Instagram profiles, their mentorship programme and fireside chats.
The Hindi podcast by Yogi and Kabeer started off with them talking about their experiences as two men from middle-class Indian families in a committed, long-term monogamous relationship and now features interviews with individuals and couples from the gay community, as well as known personalities such as actors and filmmakers. There are also episodes about coming out, transition and other related subjects. Available on Spotify.
The Sweekar foundation was founded by filmmaker Shridhar Rangayan to help parents of queer children understand their wards better. Recognising that coming out is as significant a moment for the parents as it is for the children, Sweekar helps family units through personal video accounts of parents whose children have come out to them as well as events that centre around acceptance and mental health.
An endeavour that was nothing short of trailblazing, considering it was published in 1977, this book by mathematician Shakuntala Devi delved into the intricacies of homosexuality in the context of India. The inspiration behind her profound interest in this subject matter stemmed from her personal experience of being married to a homosexual man, compelling her to embark on a quest for deeper comprehension. Devi's book featured intimate interviews with two young Indian homosexual men, a male couple in Canada who yearned for legal recognition of their union, a conversation with a temple priest on his views and an exhaustive review of existing literature on the subject, culminating with a call for decriminalization of homosexuality.
Dr Aqsa Sheikh
Dr Aqsa Sheikh is one of the four authors of a resource titled A Guide To Transgender Sensitive Journalism. It is a 23-page document compiled by the Human Solidarity Foundation. It has guidelines, glossaries, flags and logos, important judgments and a list of resources and social media accounts, all related to the LGBTQiA+ community, as well as a word-spotter puzzle at the end to tie it all up. The objective was to stress on the importance to be mindful of the way vulnerable communities are portrayed and the various ways ignorant or erroneous reporting can cause harm and damage to individuals and communities. It can be viewed on their LinkedIn account.