- POSTED: 13 Oct 2013 23:59
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India's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community now have a brand-new radio station tailored specially for them, called Q Radio.
INDIA: India's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community now have a brand-new radio station tailored specially for them, called Q Radio.
Q Radio is India's first round the clock radio station dedicated to the country's LGBT community, and the initiative is aimed at changing mindsets in a largely conservative society.
A venture of the online portal Radiowalla.in, it is run by a mix of gay and heterosexual staff.
The station broadcasts from Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka.
Besides playing tunes, the station also airs talk shows in both Hindi and English, with the aim of providing a platform for the LGBT community to air their views.
Romal Singh, radio jockey at Q Radio, said: "The main aim of the initiative is basically to reach out to the LGBT community because you have a huge LGBT community in India and there's not necessarily a proper platform where people can voice their opinions, so that's exactly what Q Radio is all about."
Despite decriminalisation of homosexuality in 2009, the LGBT community in India continues to face discrimination.
Q Radio has brought a ray of hope to the community, which is struggling to gain acceptance.
Akai, a LGBT activist, said: "We are existing in the largest democratic country in the world. Not speaking on the issue of sexuality, not speaking on the issues of gender identity..we are more into cultural base, we are more into norms base, we are more into tradition base.
“So I think in this largest democratic country, there is a need for such a radio station to come forward to speak about these issues."
The brains behind the idea, Anil Srivastava, however, feels it will take a lot more to change minds.
Anil Srivastava, chief executive officer and co-founder of Q Radio, said: "With radio, I think it just adds to the discourse that already exists online, bringing it a more real, personal feel because there are real people talking, a real host talking. It's almost like you get to know two people.
“Am I going to be a part of the solution? I hope I am."
In a country where homosexuals are still not socially accepted, Q Radio is doing its part to hopefully promote understanding of the community.