A chat with the founder
What started off as an online movement three years ago has today found a place in not just A’bad’s many public spaces, but also the hearts of thousands of lives that it has touched. Anahita Sarabhai’s Queerabad is working to make the city safe and inclusive for the queer community while also sensitizing those outside of it. Regardless of how you identify yourself, everyone is invited to be part if this queerness! Take a look at our quick chat with Anahita!
What is Queerabad?
Queerabad started off as an online forum in 2016 for the queer community in Ahmedabad. When we got a good response, we took it offline by doing live events in the arts, literature, education and cultural spaces. We created a space where people could share their experiences and discuss and celebrate being queer while answering pertinent questions that surround the community.
What prompted the name and what’s your vision for Queerabad?
Queer + Ahmedabad. The name was a simple mix of the two main elements that define us. After three years of starting out, we’ve now started reaching out to movements and groups outside our city and state. Our vision is to make the conversation grow by involving more and more people and including straight people who want to help but don’t know how to. For this we have created a multi-level approach with 4 segments.
Could you please take us through the approach?
First segment is the core community itself. We want to create an empathetic and supportive group that is also diverse. We want to be each other’s best allies.
The second segment includes the people who identify as straight. In order to truly create an inclusive society, we must extend the conversation to those outside the community too. Through this, we want to host events and create an environment where people who identify as a queer and straight can support each other, share stories and provide different perspectives on life and its experiences.
The third segment brings in spaces of A’bad such as education institutions. This is to help create engagement with students. We also want to get institutions to commit to having a safe space for queer conversations. We also provide training to counselors at these places.
The fourth segment includes spaces such as restaurants, co-working spaces, cafes etc. It is to again sensitize regular citizens to create a friendly environment for everyone and not stand for homophobia or any kind of discrimination in public places.