Queer InFocus is a bimonthly roundup of queer news in India.
This is how a cruel arranged marriage scam is manipulating ‘vulnerable’ LGBT+ Asians in search of love
27th April 2020
The Gay Arranged Marriage Bureau, founded by Urvi Shah, claims to a LGBT+ arranged marriage service in India, the first of its kind. Reeta Loi, founder of gaysians and Vice documentaries investigated the claims, and found not a single piece of evidence exists for a successful pairing. Shown in the documentary, the sign-up fee comes up to $900, and all the featured successful couples appear to have met by other means. Reeta, along with Keith featured in the documentary, both sign up to the service and received barely any profiles, with those few being sent either being mismatches or seemingly fake.
Transgender community demands special package amid Covid-19 lockdown
28th April 2020
Over 2,000 people from the transgender community wrote to Union ministries of home, finance and social justice, calling for an assured substinence of Rs 3,000 per month for the community with no permanent sources of income. They also mentioned that many transgender persons do not have ration cards. Although the National Institute of Social Defense (NISD) had made an interim arrangement of Rs. 1,500 for around 4,500 transgender persons from various states, this figure still does not even amount to 1 percent of the overall national transgender population.
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New podcast launches that delves into the lives of the transgender community
28th April 2020
De Taali – Life of a Transgender is a new podcast launched on Spotify that educates and sensitises everyone on different issues affecting the community. Fida Khan (a member of the 6 Pack Band – India’s first transgender music group) and Shameer Tandon (who helped launched the group) both host the podcast, which features various guests discussing topics around medicine, literature, the transgender community, and more.
Please take a look at our article on what we can do as queer allies during COVID-19.
The Pink List India have also published a list of organisations working towards providing immediate relief for the queer community across the country, which can be found here.
Harshil Shah is the Program Officer at the Queer Resource Center, One Future Collective.
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