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.