A lonely and dangerous lockdown for LGBTQ Indians

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06/21/2020

In conservative India, many in the LGBTQ community hide their real selves. But being stuck inside with their families for months in the coronavirus lockdown has made this hard to keep up – with sometimes dire consequences. Kumar, a young gay man living in a town in northern India, was physically assaulted by his family who then called the police when they found out his secret. “They found his phone – he was chatting with someone or sharing photos – and beat him up,” said Shruta Neytra, co-founder of the LGBTQ online youth support group Yaariyan. Kumar – not his real name – reached out to the group seeking help. But because of coronavirus restrictions on travel and movement, there was little anyone could do. And he is not alone. “We are hearing of so many cases where people are facing harassment and psychological torture by their families,” Neytra told AFP. “It is very distressing because we can’t even tell them to leave home and seek shelter elsewhere.”

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