Chennai Dost has launched a much-needed service for the gay community in the city.
The service, called ‘grooms wanted’, allows gays and bisexuals to register online with their details.
India does not recognise gay marriages. Until now, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community did not have a platform to identify themselves and live life on their terms without being subjected to stigma. While declaring a person’s status is difficult, the possibility of finding a partner is next to impossible, says Vikranth Prasanna, founder of Chennai Dost. The effort is to provide a platform for interaction without guilt.
“It is like a matrimonial site,” Mr. Vikranth explains. “People looking for gay relationship need physical space but find it very difficult. We give them the freedom to express themselves, find partners and share a healthy life.”
The members are sent questionnaires with ‘psychological’ questions. Based on the answers, the member is called for an interview and then follows an introduction to persons with similar interests.
Activist Sunil Menon who welcomes the programme said, “It is our basic right to be with a partner of my choice. Trouble can be only when such a relationship is non-consensual or it is between an adult and someone below the age of 18.”
S. Manikandan, who sought Chennai Dost online, says, “I was upset I couldn’t find a partner. I enrolled and after several rounds of interviews I found a partner and for the past three months we have been living together.” Legality for such relationships as in the case of heterosexual couples will make life smoother, he says. “I applied for a health insurance policy but I cannot declare him as my legal partner since society does not accept such relationships.”
Lawyer Sudha Ramalingam agrees that time has come to consider legalising such relationships. “Voluntary relationships between consenting adults is not a crime. They are just soul mates. We have reached a stage when we should also consider legalising these relationships. Legal backings will mean rights and responsibilities are ascertained in clear terms.”