Decriminalizing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is the most recent milestone in the Indian history. It’s been over two years since this magnificent day; and India, as a nation, is finally taking steady steps in the complete equality and inclusivity direction. Many cafes, restaurants, organizations and MNCs have opened their doors to queer inclusivity.
Today, let’s take a look at some social and active spaces in Bangalore, which celebrate pride all year long; by creating a safe environment and spreading awareness about the community.
Atta Galata, Koramangala
Atta Galata is a bookstore which primarily focuses on the Indian literary venue and vernacular writing, many art and cultural events. They even organize several oratory and slam poetry workshops which have become the LGBTQIA+ safe space; for them to come forward and share their unique experiences without any fear of judgement.
Lahe Lahe, Indiranagar
A cafe and poetry studio from Indiranagr, Lahe Lahe, gives a platform for people to celebrate their true selves freely. Lahe Lahe offers an indiscriminate, non-judgmental space for the community that allows audiences and ideas to intertwine and uplift each other. The cafe is very famous for the open mic nights and poetry events which have set a stage for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Urban Solace, Ulsoor
Urban Solace have held the country’s first Queer and Allies Art Festival. They even conduct many drag festivals as well, and hence are more than a just cafe. They provide a safe platform for the queer individuals of the city to voice their opinions and experiences. This cafe as hosted the screening of Unfreedom, the famous Indian flick about a desi lesbian couple. Urban Solace is also the most preferred venue for several queer dating platforms.
Alliance Francaise De Bangalore, Cunningham Road
This famous social space from Bangalore acts as a venue for the Bangalore Queer Festival which happens every year; as a mark of celebrating love in every form.
1 Shanti Road, Shantinagar
1 Shanthi Road, situated in Shanthi Nagar, Bangalore, is an art residency and art space. In the past, they have hosted book launches for writers who strived to spread awareness about gender identity and orientation. It’s also been an active venue for the Karnataka Queer Habba (festival) and Nabba Pride. What makes this place even more special is the fact that they have gender-neutral washrooms.
Rangashankara Theatre, J P Nagar
This theatre hosted the ‘Equal’ festival, which questions the gender inequity and polarization and also the play A Straight Proposal’ in 2014. The play follows the issues gay people face in the current Indian political scene.
Max Mueller Bhavan, Indiranagar
This Goethe-Institute is a cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with international reach. Along with promoting German, this institute also focuses on LGBTQIA+ issues. One of their most popular queer festivals is the Gender Bender which is hosted every year. This consists of plays, seminars and workshops that focus on rising awareness about the LGBTQIA+ community.
Kitty Ko, Sheshadripuram
Kitty Ko, similar to its equivalent Kitty Su stands for the drag and LGBTQIA+ community in the city by conducting events with them on a regular basis. Before the pandemic, they conducted a drag queen night on every Thursday at 9 PM.
Now that we’re in the post-lockdown phase, where cafes, restaurants and such safe spaces are slowly getting back to business – start exploring them yet again!