From The Campus: LGBTQ+ Clubs In Mumbai Colleges Aim For More Inclusive Campuses

From The Campus: LGBTQ+ Clubs In Mumbai Colleges Aim For More Inclusive Campuses

The clubs have activities that provide platforms for people to ask their doubts about the language, lifestyle and culture of queer people.

Varun SrinivasUpdated: Wednesday, July 03, 2024, 03:56 PM IST
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Many students in Maharashtra’s universities have taken it upon themselves to set up LGBTQ+ collectives to create more inclusive spaces.

To understand the functioning and the role these students play in normalising queer culture, The Free Press Journal (FPJ) interacted with members of three different LGBTQ+ clubs — VG Vaze College’s Vaze Queer Collective, Sophia College’s Sophia Queer Club and Mithibhai College’s unofficial queer club, The Green Carnation Club.

Inclusivity is one of the main goals of any group of people, especially for the LGBTQ+ community. College is the first step for many people to explore the world, meet like-minded people and come into their own in terms of their personality and identity. These clubs create a safe space for those who identify themselves as a part of the LGBTQ+ community making them feel included and find solace among their community.

Gargi S (requested their surname be anonymous), one of the founding members of the Vaze Queer Collective, mentioned, “ It (the club) just ensures normalcy and normalcy is what a queer student wants the most.” Showing that the club acts as a way to create a space where queer kids don’t have to feel the need to fit in especially when they are perceived as different from the rest of society. 

Yukta Chaudhari, the secretary of The Green Carnation Club, states, “It acts as a second home for many queer people in our college,” mentioning how many students who identify as the member of the LGBTQ+ community have a place where they can be comfortable to express themselves as if it was their family.

“It acts as a second home for many queer people in our college,” said Yukta Chaudhari, The Green Carnation Club’s secretary.

These clubs also help de-stigmatise the concept of being queer by spreading awareness and educating the other students in their colleges. The clubs have activities that provide platforms for people to ask their doubts about the language, lifestyle and culture of queer people.

Aanchal Y (also requested to not mention their surname), another founding member of the Vaze Queer Collective, mentioned, “Our flagship ‘No More No Queer’ is a very ground-level event where we introduce queer terms to people and they are free to come over ask questions to the volunteers who will be explaining the terms to them.”

“Our flagship ‘No More No Queer’ is a very ground-level event where we introduce queer terms to people,” said Aanchal Y, Vaze Queer Collective’s founding member.

Astha Sinha, a member of the Sophia Queer Club also mentioned, “SQC puts up these questionnaires, where people ask questions about queerness and about the committee.”

Not only education and inclusivity, these clubs also celebrate the queerness of their students. Astha Sinha mentioned, “ SQC recently had their very first flagship event called ‘Euphoria’ and it featured drag shows and we had two drag artists come as well and other fun events like a karaoke segment for singers, we also had stalls set up by queer people from their college who own small businesses.” She also mentions how they have painted murals and have had pride parades during their college’s yearly fest.

The Vaze Queer Club set up a screening for queer movies which also doubled as a fundraiser project.

In The Green Carnation Club, Chaudhari mentions not only do they do workshops in classrooms but also have queer occasion parties like on Christmas or on New Year’s Eve where many queer students gather and have a fun time.

These clubs also have an active presence on social media as a means to communicate their message of love and pride and to showcase the events and activities they do in their college.

Finally, these queer clubs provide a haven to many students who are still in their process of self-discovery and help them connect with those who understand them.

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