Being LGBTQ in India can be difficult, and learning how to find LGBTQ friends online might be even more difficult. You may have to hide your identity for safety reasons or just not be ready to come out yet. Many societal barriers can make it hard to meet LGBT people in India. Even if you are out and proud, there are many other people that aren’t. So, it can be hard to meet LGBTQ friends online!
Whether you’re looking to make LGBTQ friends online, meet someone for a date, or looking for a long-term partner, finding other people like yourself is important. It can allow you to be more comfortable with yourself. It is helpful to talk to more people who might be going through something similar. While many ways exist to find LGBTQ friends, a few stick out.
So, let’s take a look at them and the pros and cons of each.
1. Dedicated apps to meet LGBTQ friends online
This is one of the most popular dating options or when learning how to find LGBTQ friends. There can be a risk of scammers or fake profiles like in other online spaces where queer people want to meet new people. You might also be meeting someone dangerous or untrustworthy. However, you can overcome those challenges quickly if you’re careful and smart.
One of the advantages of using apps is that it’s specifically for LGBTQ dating. That makes it super easy for you to find LGBT friends and things that you would be interested in. Additionally, if there are apps that offer proper verification like As You Are does to ensure the genuineness of the profile, you can feel safe. You share what you want with whom you want to, so you never have to risk your privacy and safety.
That aside, it does feel awkward if you are not looking to date and the other person is looking to date. One-on-one conversations can be weird, and there can be too much pressure to keep up with the conversation when you want to make lesbian friends online.
If one is looking to make LGBTQ friends online on online platforms that are not specifically designed for dating, like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, as well as online chat rooms, it might be quite risky. This option does have a lot of allure. It promises a good amount of anonymity online while you are trying to figure out how to make LGBTQ friends.
You can share what you want to share, and you don’t have to share more. You also don’t have to share pictures of yourself, so you can keep your identity safe if you need to. However, this can be tedious. It may mean hours of texting with someone before finally meeting up for a date or hangout. Plus, scrolling through Facebook and finding people you might want to be friends with is not a very effective way to connect with good matches or find LGBT friends.
There are risks involved in this situation, as scammers tend to exploit and rip off innocent people. There is a typical modus operandi followed by these scammers. It’s mostly young queer people who fall prey to these scammers. These people claim they are from another country, usually the UK, the US, or Canada, and you slowly fall in “love” with this scammer. He quickly gains your trust and returns your affection, sentiment for the sentiment.
You will start dreaming about your future with him. Then, he will come to India to meet you and take you with him to his country or go on a vacation. The next step would be for him to claim that he was calling from the airport and that customs officers had arrested him. He asks for money because he has not told anyone about his trip. Begging you for the money, he says he has dealt with the customs officers, and he just needs the money to get out of the situation. Many people in the digital spaces are looking to make lesbian LGBTQ friends online who have fallen prey to these scammers.
Looking for LGBTQ people on LGBTQ dating Apps designed with safety in mind and apps that understand the Indian LGBTQ people is important. Designed with these exact things in focus, As You Are is a great option when you are looking to make LGBTQ friends online in India. They offer ease, privacy, safety, and the option to meet other people like you.
2. LGBTQ Groups, Both Online, and Offline
Young LGBTQ individuals are likely to suffer more anxiety and depression than the non-queer population, specifically the transgender and nonbinary population. They are even more vulnerable, suffering from more anxiety and depression. The fear associated with coming out and the fear of discrimination is usually accompanied by depression, PTSD, and sometimes even suicidal thoughts.
Many NGOs and social groups start LGBTQ support groups, which are usually a type of peer-to-peer therapy space that is immensely helpful for learning how to find LGBTQ friends in this community. It does need one to be courageous and seek help to be able to get it. There are online and offline LGBTQ support groups that offer space to address the issues faced by LGBTQ people and how these issues impact their day-to-day lives.
These support groups can be a great space if you’re looking for where to meet LGBTQ friends. However, this can only be possible if LGBTQ people are comfortable and feel safe enough to ask for the needed support. Joining an online group is a great way to meet like-minded LGBTQ people, and they usually accommodate a wide range of social support and networking groups for all ages and interests.
One of the greatest drawbacks when it comes to seeking support is the feeling that other people may not understand. This is one of the main reasons why most LGBTQ people still struggle. It is usually the fear of being judged harshly by people who are important to them and society. Fortunately, online and offline LGBTQ support groups are available in different parts of the country, and these groups focus on helping members address the challenges they face while faced with the question of how to find LGBTQ friends or any LGBTQ issues people face in their lives.
Imagine the time you first found out that you were queer. It is easy to feel alone. This is especially true if you don’t see any representation that validates your identity or if you don’t know other LGBTQ people. This phase can be quite tough on your mental and physical health. It often leads to self-isolation and internalized phobias.
At this stage, joining a support group or an online platform dedicated to LGBTQ people is a good way to make LGBTQ friends online. At As You Are, we have “We Community” to cater to the large and diverse Indian LGBTQ people. Various topics of conversation, interests, and location-based group chats that allow individuals to get into no-pressure conversations and get to know each other better.
The community spaces allow for chats and topics with no pressure and potential awkwardness to engage one-on-one. Talking and meeting other people helps you realize that you are not alone on this queer journey.
This type of event also eliminates the superficiality and time commitment needed for online gay dating apps. Instead of spending hours texting before meeting up, you can spend 15 minutes just getting to know someone.
The biggest downside to this is that you don’t have the option of anonymity. You have to be comfortable with sharing who you are in public, or you won’t be able to meet LGBTQ people you match with.
3. Bars – Gay or otherwise
Going out to bars is a method of meeting others if you’re wondering how to find LGBTQ friends. It makes sense; people go out to drink, have fun, and usually meet others. What’s not to like about it? In many places in the world, gay bars are also heavily popular with those looking to meet LGBT friends. But in India, with incredible social stigma, not many gay bars exist. While struggling with how to make LGBTQ friends online or offline, this can pose a challenge. Luckily, straight bars are there to help.
Although there aren’t many gay bars, many of India’s straight bars have no problem holding queer events or queer nights. These are times specifically set aside for LGBT community members to meet LGBT friends. The benefits of this are that it’s easy and fun. You go out, have a few drinks, and chat with people. Bars are easily accessible, and you get a bit more privacy. You choose what you want to share and with whom.
One of the biggest cons is that not everyone is there for the same reason. You may start chatting someone, hoping that you will find LGBT friends only to realize that they’re just hanging out with some friends. Or, worse, you may find out that the person you are talking to is straight, leaving you feeling embarrassed. Even though there are downsides to meeting LGBTQ people in bars, bar culture has the benefit of being easy and quick, so it’s certainly appealing.
4. Offline events are a great way for how to find LGBTQ friends
If you don’t know what an offline mixer is, it’s pretty simple. It’s an event designed for singles to go and meet other singles. They can include parties, speed dating, icebreakers, and other events designed to help you find LGBTQ friends interested in dating or possibly becoming friends. These mixers are less common than bars, so they can be harder to find. It may also be difficult to find LGBTQ-specific mixers, but if you can, they have a lot of benefits and can help you finally get a grip on how to find LGBTQ friends.
For one thing, everyone there has the same goal in mind. You know that other people are looking for the same thing you are, so there’s no confusion or awkwardness. These events are very structured and can also lead to situations that make you meet LGBTQ friends. This way, you don’t have to worry about what to do or whom to talk to. You are guided through it, making it easier for you to be comfortable and be yourself.
This type of event also eliminates the superficiality and time commitment needed for online gay dating apps. Instead of spending hours texting before meeting up, you can spend 15 minutes just getting to know someone. The biggest downside to this is that you don’t have the option of anonymity. You have to be comfortable with sharing who you are in public, or you won’t be able to meet LGBTQ people you match with.
5. Meet LGBTQ Friends at Parades and Parties
This is often a misunderstood way to meet LGBTQ friends online. Many people think you can just go to a parade, find someone you like, and score a date. Usually, it’s not that easy. For one, gay parades and parties can face challenges in India. There may be counter-protestors hurling insults, people getting physically violent, or even police shutting them down. So, they aren’t always the safest option.
Also, learning how to find LGBTQ friends is easy, but getting to know them isn’t. There are usually many people at these gay parades, so you won’t get the chance to talk to people one-on-one. Although you can meet LGBTQ friends at gay parades, there’s not a lot of possibility for close interactions. This can mean that meeting LGBT people this way can be scary and impersonal. However, it does have its benefits. For one, if you are looking to meet many people and don’t care much if it’s super personal, this is a good place to do it.
It’s also a better place to make LGBTQ friends since there is no pressure for it to turn into a dating situation. If all you’re looking for is friends, this might be your best option. You can have a lot of fun at these gay parades and queer events without the pressure to date.
But the first step can be a hard one, especially if you intend to step into a pride parade or a party alone. Finding a friend who would come along can be less intimidating and places like As You Are WE Community can help with finding that one first friend without necessarily outing yourself on the community platform online which is built to help people make LGBT friends online.
The platform offers access to LGBTQ conversations without needing to out yourself and no pressure to necessarily engage with all discussion. It can be the place to find that one friend whom you can step out for queer events.
There are many ways you can help you learn how to find LGBTQ friends. Even so, there are many obstacles in the online world, but whether you prefer to meet LGBTQ people in person or online, to develop a friendship, or looking to date them, there are options. You just need to make sure you think about things all the way through, stay safe, protect yourself, and do what makes you feel comfortable. That way, you can meet people and expand your life without putting yourself at risk.
There are many LGBTQ support groups out there. There are apps designed to bring together LGBTQ friends online, Facebook and other online platforms, parties and parades, offline events to meet LGBTQ friends, and bars. All of them have their pros and cons. Just stay safe and protect yourself while on the journey of meeting LGBTQ friends online.