28 July, 2021

Young Talk Openly

Young Talk Openly

The trust is a pioneer in healthcare for LGBTQs. Founded in 1994, when homosexual acts were criminalized, the brains behind it adopted a model of dialogue and negotiation, as opposed to confrontation, and worked with the government agencies. “It took us 18 months to find our first space – five rooms in a Mumbai municipal corporation building that was abandoned for seven years,” says Vivek Anand, the CEO of the trust.

Initially, the members met every friday for 3-4 hours. They invited others to discuss healthcare issues, legal challenges, efforts to coming out, problems at workplaces, and concerns like managing one’s finances. They had a voicemail helpline. People could give their phone numbers or addresses and community counselors would reach out to them. “That’s how we connected with the community and mobilized,” explains Anand.

In 1998, the Directorate of Health Services, Mumbai, gave the trust a grant of Rs 58,000 to identify the number of gay men, and men having sex with men (MSM in the city. “We found out that...

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