Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Goodasyou Resources for LGBTIQA+: Counselors, Health(HIV), Legal & More

  • What is GoodAsYou ?
  • GoodAsYou, started in 1994, is one of the oldest surviving support groups for LGBTIQA/Queer community in Bengaluru/Bangalore. 
  • AGENDA: Open for any LGBTIQA related discussion, personal or public. This is a self-moderating group. FUNDING: This is a self-funded group that runs on voluntary donations collected on the spot. 
  • This is an open space and looks forward to participants creating more avenues for queer people to socialize and build a sense of community. Open ideas that seek volunteer coordinators include groups for sports/games/trekking/travel/cooking/art etc. 
  • For more info, visit: https://www.facebook.com/goodasyoublr
  • Q. Where is GoodAsYou?
  • Since GoodAsYou is just a support group, it doesn't have its own office, but our Thursday meetings and most of other activities happen at the NGO Swabhava's office at the following address.
  • Swabhava Trust, Sampengiramnagar, Bangalore, 080-22230959
  • Q. How does one join this group? 
  • Please call up the above number to know the timings of the meetings and walk-in there.
  • For yahoo group, please invite yourself from the yahoo group or mail to goodasyoublr@googlemail.com
  • For facebook group, an existing member can add you or email to goodasublr@gmail.com or message to this facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/goodasyoublr
  • Q. Is there a group for Parents, Families, Friends & Allies?
  • Yes! We have a FaceBook group to encourage a more open discussion between queer people, their families, friends & allies. If you are out to friends/ family and want to help them learn more and discuss things with similar people, please add them to the group
  • The group is at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/goodasupflag/
  • We also organize periodic group meets and will post details as and when such events are planned
  • Q. Is there a similar group for lesbians and bi-sexual women?
  • Although Goodasyou welcomes all the LGBT members here, our sister group WHAQ is specially for Queer women. The group can be reached at https://www.facebook.com/whaqbangalore. Alternatively you can reach out to Maya4women NGO by dialing this number 7022222180.
  • Q. Any other similar groups or activities in Bangalore?
  • This wiki page helps you to know what all happens in Queer circles of Bangalore
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_culture_in_Bangalore
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  • Q. Any other similar groups or NGOs in other cities of India?
  • Refer to http://www.trikone.org/index.php/resources/resources#india
  • Q. Are there any Queer/Gay Friendly counselors at GoodAsYou?
  • Counselling support for queer people and their families are available at multiple centres
  • Vinay through 'Swabhava' provides Free counselling: 080 2223 0959.
  • Free E-mail counselling at: sahayabangalore@hotmail.com or goodasyoublr@googlemail.com
  • Queer friendly mental health professionals directly connected to this group
    1. Mr.Mahesh Natarajan - Certified Counselor(English/Tamil) - 9611405684 http://www.innersight.in, CVRamanNagar
    2. Mrs.Ajanta De - Certified Counselor (English/Hindi)             - 9980781314 http://www.innersight.in, CVRamanNagar
    3. Mr.Vasudhendra - Certified Counselor (English/Kannada/Telugu) - 9844422782 BanneghattaRd (Free for LGBT community)
    4. Ms.Mari Eva Mendes - Certified Counselor (English/Arabic) - 9632513023, Kammanahalli
    5. Mr.Mohan Raj - Clinical Psychologist (English/Kannada/Hindi) - 9663955839 New BEL Road.
    6. Saurabh Banerjee - Trainee Counselor with Parivarthan (English/Hindi/Bengali) - Indiranagar/Kalyannagar - 9535744744 
  • Psychologists/Psychiatrists in the city, visited by members of this group, with positive feedback.
    • Dr Snigdha Nautiyal- Clinical Psychologist (English/Hindi) Shanthi Polyclinic, Jayanagar 080-26341314/26346262 
    • Dr. Poornima Bhola, Clinical Psychologist (English/Hindi), Thursday OPD, NIMHANS, Hosur Road 
    • Dr. Veena Satyanarayan, Clinical Psychologist (Kannada/English), Dept. of Psychiatry, St. John’s Hospital, Sarjapur Road 
    • Dr. Ratna Isaac, Clinical Psychologist (Kannada/English), Richmond Poly Clinic, Richmond Circle (9845197093) 
    • Dr Galgali Ravindra Babu Rao, Psychiatrist (English/Kannada/Telugu) - St.Johns Hosptial, Koramanagala 
    • Dr Vijayanthi Bonanthaya, Psychiatrist (English/Kannada), Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road 
    • Dr Dharmendra, Psychiatrist, Manasa Neuro Psychiatric Center, Near Ashoka Pillar, Jaynagar 
    • Dr. Shankar, Psychiatrist (Kannada/English), Basaveshwaranagar Poly Clinic, Basaveshwara Nagar (9740091530) 
    • http://www.parivarthan.org/
  • In Chennai, 'Chennai Dost' provides Free counselling: 9551630213
  • In Hyderabad, 'Roshini Counselling Center: 040-33081830
  • For other cities, info is available in this link: http://mingle.org.in/list-of-lgbt-friendly-psychiatrists-hivaids-counselors-std-specialists-and-sexologists-in-india/ 
  • Q. What else happens other than Thursday meetings or Online groups?
  • Monday: 'Monday Mushaira' (Once a month or so) A queer poets group that meets at Paradigm Shift in Koramangala 8pm-10pm  (Not active currently)
  • Tuesday: Queer friendly poetry readings at Urban Solace on Tuesday nights
  • Wednesday: (Bowling group is not active currently)
  • Thursday: GoodAsYou meetings: Thursdays 7pm-9pm at Swabhava
  • Friday: Pink Divas dance workshops: Swabhava on Friday evenings
  • Saturday: "Married & Queer" Meetings or Film screenings at Swabhava 6PM onwards.
  • Sunday: Gay Runners & Brunch: Sundays Cubbon Park 9:30; Airlines 10:30 - 12:30 (A WhatsApp group exists to coordinate runs as well. Please write to ask for details)
  • Queer friendly parties are organized by PinkNation, FeverNites etc on weekend nights - Details on Facebook
  • Queer Reads: Monthly book reading club. Details on its facebook page
  • Hikes and Treks: Once a quarter or so
  • BQFF & Bangalore Pride are of course long standing marquee annual events
  • Other events as and when organized will be posted by members. We encourage more people to start open social activities
  • All are welcome to these events; personal expenses may be involved.

  • Q. Is it safe to meet new people though this group or other online resources?
  • If any profile sends you a private message or request, or a member approaches you in any of the community event such as Thursday meeting or Sunday GRAB, please use your own discretion on engaging/ befriending, Do not assume everyone is good.
  • Also following these guidelines when meeting strangers:  http://goodasyoublr.blogspot.in/2015/09/dos-donts-of-instant-dating.html

  • Q. Post the Supreme Court judgment(Dec-2013) overturning the Delhi HC Naz verdict, what should I know?
  • Please refer to orinam.net/377 for information on the verdict and actions post the verdict
  • While the verdict is a setback, it does not make identifying as a queer person or participating in queer groups such as GoodAsYou/ WHaQ!/ LesBIT/ Sangama/ etc a crime.
  • We strongly urge queer people to stay connected and use groups like ours so you can stay abreast with current developments, know how to be safe and have an awesome time in general
  • Q. Do you have any information about Safe sex, HIV etc.?
  • Women can refer to this document: http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoodAsYouBlr/511579532238663/
  • Men can can refer to this document: http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoodAsYouBlr/492506824145934/
  • This video gives graphical info about STDs: http://youtu.be/KB2qWT9Jzm0 

  • Q. Do you also do HIV/STD Testing?
  • GoodasYou doesn't have it currently. The following NGOs do free HIV and STD testing and are Gay-Friendly/Queer-Friendly 
    • YRG CARE MSM Centre at Victoria Hospital, near KRMarket, Ms.Nayeema(9632573643)
    • Samara Office, Malleshwaram, Rajshekar (9980111428)
    • Samara Office, Sampengirmanagar, Sahil (9901002392)
    • Samara Office, Jayanagar, Ramdas (9880161863) 
    • Family Planning Association, City Corp Maternity Home Cmplx, 1st Flr, Place Guttahalli, Blr-3, 080-23360205 For other city addresses, check http://www.fpaindia.org/ 
    • Also, Queer owned Private clinic for any STD issues: Dr. Sanjay Sharma - colorectal / podiatric surgeon; practicing at APTA Healthpod ( www.aptahealth.in), 763, 19th Cross, 15th Main, Sahakarnagar, Bangalore - 92, Ph - 08041214111; at RxDx, Graphite India Road, Whitefield, Bangalore and PulseHealth, 575, 80ft Road, Kormanagala Ph - 41103841
    • Skin and VD Specialist: Dr. Manjunath JV, Dasarahalli (9741134885)
  • Q. Are there any hospitals that do HIV/STD Testing ?
  • You can get HIV and other STD tests done in any ICTC centre or Private Hospital,For eg. Koramangala St.Johns Hospital, Majestic Railway Hospital.List of ICTC Centres across Karnatka for free HIV Testing:  https://www.facebook.com/download/160063054196408/ICTC%20Centers_Karnataka.xls
  • Q. Do you provide any support if I am detected HIV Positive? 
  •  Contact the numbers of the above provided counselors. They will help you. Or write to goodasublr@gmail.com
  • Q. Do you have list of Hospitals or Doctors to treat HIV Pos patients ? 
  • Govt.Free ART (Anti Retroviral Therapy) centres are at the following hospitals in Bangalore.
  1. Govt. KIMS, K.R Road, V.V Puram
  2. Govt. Victoria Hospital, City Market,
  3. Govt. Bowring Hospital, Shivajinagar
  4. St John’s Hospital, Koramanhala (Private) 
  5. For other places, refer to http://www.nacoonline.org/upload/Directory%20of%20Service%20Facilities/List%20of%20functional%20355%20ART%20Centres%20as%20on%20March-2012.pdf
  • Private Clinics/Doctors giving HIV medicine.

  1. Dr.KS.Satish, Fortis Hosp/Vikram Hosp/ChestnMaternity Hosp, http://drkssatish.com/  
  2. Dr.B.Satish, Seva Clinic, Ramachandrapuram, Jalahalli, Blr-13, Ph: 9342956561/9448409047

  • Q. Is there support available for emergency situations like police caught me or family threw me out of house etc.? 
  • If you are ever in trouble(homophobic abuse, problem at home, police issue or any other issue), call them. They will help you ASAP SANGAMA runs 24/7 crisis hotlines: +91 994 560 1651 to 1654;+91 994 523 1493 
  • Q. Is there legal support available from any lawyers if needed ?
  • Call to one of the following numbers (regular office hours only)ALTERNATIVE LAW FORUM : +91 80 2286 5757 / +91 80 2286 8757 LAWYERS COLLECTIVE BANGALORE +91 80 4123 9130 / +91 80 4123 9131 
  • Q. Do you have any support group for MARRIED GAY/BI people? 
  • Please join our married queer people group "MARRIED & QUEER". Write to goodasyoublr@googlemail.com or neranblr@yahoo.com

  • Do you have any matchmaking service for Gay Marriage or Gay Shaadi to find a (queer) gay life partner (Mr.Right or Mrs.Right) ?
  • No, we don't. but you can visit www.amourqueerdating.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/amourqueerdating or similar websites for such a requirement.
  • Q. Where else can we find your group other than here? 
  • https://www.facebook.com/goodasyoublr
  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/goodasyoublr
  • http://www.planetromeo.com/GoodasyouHelpline

DOs & DON'Ts of instant dating

Many of the queer community members often meet unknown people for dates, chats and more. We have been increasingly hearing cases of extortion, blackmail, sedation, house confinement, rape, and robbery, especially post SC judgement of upholding 377 in Dec 2013. So here are some Dos and Donts to follow when you meet strangers.



 DOs

  1. Always meet strangers in public places first such as a coffee shop, a restaurant, a mall or a crowded park. Proceed to their or your place, only if you have had a conversation with them and get some level of confidence.
  2. If you know the number of the person you are meeting, you can choose to search for that number in True Caller (for spam history), Facebook and google to make sure you are not walking into an extortion racket.
  3. Inform a close friend (who knows you are queer) about the details of the person you are meeting such as their PR-ID/number, the location of their place etc. 
  4. If you are taking the person to your place, make sure to lock your door from inside (if there is a provision) and hide the keys so that they do not run away with valuables.
  5. If you plan to have intercourse, make sure to carry condoms and lubricants yourself instead of discovering the lack of them later and going unprotected.
  6. When you visit someone's place in the city or at a far off place, make sure you will have some transport back home any time so that you can leave the place if you sense something wrong.
  7. Be confident or at least act confident in  the times of crisis, so that culprits do not make use of your fear (Remember it's not illegal to be gay or queer in India, only certain acts are).
  8. Call up the nearest queer helpline numbers (Visit other posts of this blog for Bangalore numbers), if you end up in a unwanted situation.

 DONTs

  1. Do NOT carry excess cash, credit/debit cards or valuable items when you visit a stranger's place
  2. Do NOT expose strangers to your vulnerable personal stories, such as lack of acceptance at home/workplace or marital status etc (They may use it to blackmail you).
  3. Do NOT leave your wallet, mobile or other valuables unattended at your or their place during your meeting with strangers.
  4. Do NOT consume drinks or eatables offered by them (which might be sedated) at their place.
  5. Do NOT do drugs or alcohol with strangers. Anything that can take away your consciousness is a strict NO.