MUMBAI, India — The Indian airwaves are showing their rainbow colors now as the country’s first LGBTQ radio show was launched in mid-July on its commercial radio channel Ishq (“love” in Urdu).

Gay rights activist Harish Iyer, 38, has become the “messenger of love” for equality in the eastern country. His show, “Gaydio,” has become the first one dedicated to LGBTQ issues in a place that is fraught with taboos and punishment for gay sex, NBC News reported on information supplied by the Thomas Reuters Foundation.

The country’s estimated 2.5 million LGBTQ population now have an avenue to hear news and personal interest stories that are relative and relatable. The station hopes to break down barriers to discrimination and feature a variety of relationship models.

By sharing their stories with others, interviewees help to bridge understanding for the LGBTQ community, NBC News added.

India is also addressing the issue of LGBTQ suicide by the cooperation between The Humsafar Trust’s Umang and Yaariyan groups with other leading LGBTQ groups, Outlook India reported.

The Acceptance Meet was held on Aug. 15 to deal with the issue. Iyer and Human Rights specialist Aparna Joshi were among a panel discussion which addressed the topic. This annual event brings LGBTQ individuals, family, friends, colleagues and allies together in a non-judgmental environment. This year’s theme was “Every life matters.” The aim for the gathering is to “pave the way for acceptance and rational attitudes toward Indian LGBTQ, particularly the youth,” Outlook India added.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.