Gay, teenaged and online: LGBTQ+ Indians fight for safe space

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01/31/2024

The suicide of a 16-year-old Indian boy who hit a wall of online abuse after posting selfies in saris and makeup has galavanised calls for social media giants to better protect LGBTQIA+ Indians. Content warning: This story includes topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable and/or upset. Sexual minorities say it is hard enough being openly gay or trans in India, and the pressure only mounts in the online world where advocates blame weak content moderation for an explosion in derogatory feedback. “In India, the online abuse faced by LGBTQIA+ creators, predominantly on Instagram, is pervasive and includes death threats, hate speech, rape threats, bullying and other forms of harassment,” says Jeet, founder of Yes, We Exist, an LGBTQIA+ advocacy group on Instagram.

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