With only one transgender applicant this year and no enrollments for regular courses since 2015, the University has had enough reminders to realise the plight of transgender students. DU Beat explores this decline.

University of Delhi (DU) receives the highest number of applications for various courses in the country, and this year was no different. The University received more than three lakh applications, though there was a decline from last year. 3,67,895 number of applications is no less a number, even as only 2,58,388 proceeded ahead and made payments.  In all these applications, women yet again seemed to have become a majority, 84,021 female candidates and 68,457 male candidates applied to the University. Shockingly, only one transgender person has submitted an application this year as compared to last year, or 2017 when the university had 36 applications.

According to the data, the scheduled tribe category saw 4,044 male applicants and 3,056 female applicants. Over 17,000 male candidates and 16,000 female candidates had applied in the SC quota and about 32,926 male candidates and approximately 22,531 female candidates applied for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) non-creamy layer quota.

The newly introduced EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) that has a ten percent quota in the university admissions also had  5,528 male candidates and 3,562 female candidates. This year the varsity has increased its capacity to 62,000 number of seats. It has been stated that there would be a separate cut-off for the EWS category.

The fact that only one transgender student has applied is a huge warning to the varsity. There seems to be very liitle that the university has been able to do to make the college spaces safe for the transgender community. It seems that the stigma attached to the community has not yet gone away and a singular application speaks volumes in this regard. There have been cases of harassments faced by transgenders from other students and staff and that may have been the reason for this decline in approaching the university for admissions.

With incidents of transgender persons being asked, “Since when have you been a transgender person?” by the admission staff. Being subjected to derogatory remarks during the admissions, they tend to take up vocational courses and steer away from the University space.

Even though the TRC (Transgender Resource Centre), established in 2018 had come up with various outreach programs to bring more students to the University fold, they seem to have not yielded substantial results. These outreach programs had begun during the month of April this year.

Equal rights activist Harish Iyer said that he would be writing to the Chief Minister of Delhi about this issue. “If that one candidate seeks admission to a college of DU, the whole college and especially the teaching and the non-teaching staff have to ensure that the student feels at ease and accepted. The civil society has to come together to address the issue.” he stated.

According to officials, last year there were applications from transgender aspirants but no one enrolled for regular courses. The varsity had introduced the Other category in 2015, but there have been no admissions to the regular course under this category so far.

Rajesh from the Department of Adult Continuing Education and Extension said, “Around 15 transgender students had come to us with queries but they all had queries about School Of Open Learning and Indira Gandhi National Open University. They usually prefer to enrol as male or female in regular courses or for distance learning education.”

The University needs to gear up to make sure that more and more transgender students feel welcome in the college space.  This year needs single registration needs to be a stern reminder for the same. It is all of us together who decide for us and others around us. Let us all try to accept each other and build a better future. Marks build your CV, not your character.

Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Stephen Mathew

joice.mathew [email protected]



At a psychology internship, I came across boy X, who had come all the way to this hospital, lying to the parents of his whereabouts and with the money his grandmom had given him as a reward for achieving good marks. He was anxious and distressed but spoke with full courage about his struggles with accepting his identity, unacceptance of his sexuality by his parents, his mental health being ignored and his two-year-long battle with depression. As his story unfolded further, he managed to hold back his tears, but I realised how important it is to make people aware of several organisations working for the LGBTQ+ community so that you do not fall short of people, support or love!


The Naz Foundation (India) Trust


In a landmark judgement in Naz Foundation v Gov of NCT of Delhi case, they fought against Section 377. This foundation works towards the outreach, counselling, medical treatment and legal support. This foundation also works towards destigmatising the LGBTQ community. Their outreach programme provides information on safer sex practices and HIV and AIDS STI/ STD. Naz Clinic provides HIV testing and STD treatments. Counselling is extended to bisexual, homosexual and transgender individuals where they can talk about problems or are provided, support groups. They further host regular check-ups for members to attend. Their Milan Project targeted the involvement of these marginalised people and aimed to provide them with equal opportunity.

Doctors visit the Naz Office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 pm to 7 pm.

Helpline: +91 11 26321830
Hours are Monday to Saturday- 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M.                                                        Address: India Office A-86 East of Kailash


The Delhi University Queer Collective


Founded by Rafiul Alom Rahman in 2014 and with a humble beginning with about 4-5 people today it has members across 40 colleges in the University. It now organises parades, campaigns meetups, open mics and were the first on-campus LGBTQ support group. On speaking to the Citizen he said, “I remember back in 2014 when I presented a paper in St Stephen’s College and when I was doing the research, looking at how queer Muslim navigate their sexual and religious identities, there was hardly any material or contemporary documents available on LGBTQ Muslims…So that time I realized whole research needs to be done in this area.” It started from Facebook where they posted articles, videos and any resource on the same.

Their #Write4pride in 2017 gained a lot of traction due to the number of people who were able to open up about their experiences of accepting themselves. They also launched a Zero Tolerance Campaign against violence towards their community and its members. Multiple editions of the Parents and Relatives of Queer Persons Meet have also been organised by them.


Email: [email protected]

Facebook: DU Queer Collective


The Queer Muslim Project


Founded by Rafiul Alom Rahman in 2017, it began as online space for conversations and exchange of experiences, ideas and information and discussions regarding the LGBTQ community. Rahman quit his PhD on the queer Muslim community at Texas University when he realised that there was a dearth of information on LGBTQ Muslims in India.

This organisation focuses on the struggles of two marginalised communities queers and Muslims. Their nuanced identities put them at a greater disadvantage where they face homophobia and Islamophobia. And so it aims to cater to people suffering from this discrimination through spreading awareness, campaigns and other aid.

They have organised events like ‘Do It Yourself’ Islam or DIY Islam, where queer Muslims express their experiences both good and bad. Also, TQMP along with Aneka trust held the first Muslim consultation in 2018.

Their ‘Spirit of Ramadan’ campaign, this year during the month of Ramadan was a remarkable attempt towards using both these identities as a strength and helping others by sharing your own stories. They posted these responses on their Instagram in relation to the spirit of this auspicious time to highlight self-acceptance, love and faith.


Email: [email protected]

Instagram: thequeermuslimproject


Bi Collective Delhi


A Resource group and support group for bisexual, bi+, bicurious and pansexual individuals. They aim to provide a safe space to these people that it serves. It is a recent addition to the Agents of Ishq (AOI) list of Queer Support Resources. They organise several film screenings, meetups, workshops such as those on sexuality and multiplicity.

Their website describes their aim as, “Curiosity and questions regarding bisexual behaviour, experiences, politics and identity are appreciated. A respectful and frank discussion on these is what we seek to foster and encourage both within the group and in other spaces.”

They also have a Bi-Collective Library or a mini library, which completed a year of its launch on 22nd this month. It aims to bring you close to queer literature, relationships and other natural experiences of every individual and not just readings and reports on HIV, AIDS and injustices against the community. This mini-library provides books on bisexuality for individuals trying to understand themselves better. These books include fiction, non-fiction, film screenplays, reports, journals, and much more.


Email: [email protected]

Instagram: bicollectivedelhi


All India Queer Association


“For the queer community, by the queer community”

Started by Meghna Mehra to collectivise the LGBTIA+ members in India. Their blog provides news, articles, views on issues relating to this community. Their blog also provides content in Hindi. AIQA has an active Instagram page with 3000+ followers, educating people on sexuality, crimes against the LGBTQ community, identities, important personalities and events, safe sex, anxiety, the role of politics and the law. It also celebrates events like Ambedkar Jayanti with nukkad natak and interactive talks. They also celebrated pride month by creating awareness about different identities. They also frequently post stories of individuals coming out and their experiences in dealing with the same.

Each write-up reflects the efforts of their group of hardworking individuals. This queer union is not limited to Delhi and can be found and joined in several cities.


Instagram: aiqa.lgbtqia


Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group


This organisation is based in the capital and organises talks, workshops, film screenings, discussions and book launches. It also initiates training on gender, feminism, issues concerning lesbians and bisexual women. This group has a very active Facebook page with details of almost all happening affecting this community updated on its page.

In an attempt to create a safe space for all this group has also opened a resource centre on 22nd May, this year. It includes a library to access any resource, film archives and the feature to chat with them regarding problems or to just talk!

They also provide free counselling from Mondays to Fridays.


Helpline Number: 7291012585, between 10 am to 6 pm                            Address: Pocket L 18C Triveni Residents Welfare Association Sheikh Sarai Phase 2 New Delhi – 110017. Nearest Metro Station is Chirag Dilli.                                                                                                                  Facebook: Nazariya- A Queer Feminist Resource Group


Harmless Hugs


Started in 2012 by Vinay Kumar, Harmless Hugs today has 7.5 thousand members in its community across India. It focusses on community building activities. And they host a variety of events throughout the year like the Queer Holi event, the Delhi International Queer Theatre and Film Festival (DIQTFF) and the LGBTQ Flash Mob. They also work towards the health of these communities’ members through regular workshops on health, STI/STDs. On a regular basis, they also organise workshops and Harmless Hugs meets. In the event of legal emergencies, they also connect you with a number of NGOs associated with them. They also organise the Hum Tum Carnival, celebrating togetherness.


Email: [email protected]

Instagram: harmlesshugs

Facebook: Harmless Hugs


Delhi Queer Festival


Is an arts festival held at the Max Mueller Bhavan in the month of December, last year was its fourth community-funded event. It involves discussions, poetry readings, open mic, film screening with Director Priya Sen other panellists included Bikram Bindra with talks on queerness, their history, accomplishments, their conditions in public places.

“Queerfest believes queer to be identity, form, narrative, verb, counter-norms, relations, and oppositional practices that challenge dominant ways of seeing, reading, and being in the world that are exclusionary and enforced”, reads their description.

It covers a myriad of areas concerning the LGBTQ+ community including love, caste, marriage, inheritance, educations, laws, public places to name a few.

Educational Institutes outside of Delhi have also taken a step towards acceptance of this community by establishing collectives. In 2018, the Queer Collective of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, announced the establishment of its gender-neutral hostels on campus. These are the first ever in India.

Queer And Gender Advancement Alliance Roorkee (QAGAAR) is the queer and gender support group of IIT Roorkee. IIT Kharagpur has a very active LGBT group called Ambar. Ambar has hosted Queer Film Festivals and has also invited the queer community for interactions. Saathi is the queer community at IIT Bombay.

Other active groups within Delhi also exist. Queer Collective is present at National Law University, Delhi. Even schools, like Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar have a group called Breaking Barriers. Ambedkar University, Delhi has a Queer Collective and organises a fest which includes conversations, documentary screenings, discussions on health and stage performances. More recently, Ashoka University announced that it is opening its first gender-neutral washrooms due to the efforts of the Feminist Collective and other bodies. Kirori Mal College of Delhi University also has a queer platform.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat


Shivani Dadhwal

[email protected]

Nazariya- an LGTBQ+ Straight alliance organized a Bloody Pad Campaign on 28th February near Lady Shri Ram College raising their voice against rape culture and the misbehaviour women need to face during Holi.

Nazariya- an LGTBQ+ Straight alliance organized a Bloody Pad Campaign on 28th February near Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR). They conducted a march, held a public discussion on consent, the perpetuation of rape culture and Holi. This campaign took place after the incident where a balloon filled with semen was thrown at an LSR student near the college.

The campaign started at around 1:30 pm near Lady Shri Ram College. They marched from LSR to Amar Colony carrying posters and shouting slogans. Some of the slogans they chanted were “Semen Go Back”, “Ghoomne ki Azaadi” (Freedom to Roam), and “Pitrisatta se Azaadi” (Freedom from patriarchy). The march was also attended by Guremehar Kaur, who is an activist and an author currently studying at LSR itself.

The march was followed by a speaking session where the co-founder of the organization, Ruth Chwangthu and member Devyani Mahajan talked about the online and offline safety of women and consent. After the completion of the speeches, a public discussion was held on the subject. In one instance, an auto-driver came up to the members and talked about his grievances saying the hardships they need to go through Holi. He said they had to face being hit by balloons filled with semen and even piss. Talking to DU Beat, the co-founder said “Student alliances are fed up with such incidents. We felt like we had to do something. Colleges are not interested in taking action and even if they do, it feels as if they are forced to do so.”

The final event of the campaign was a play called “Dastak” performed by Asmita Theatre Group. The play was based on acid attack victims and sexual harassment. The play too emphasized on the balloon incident. The play was much appreciated by the audience. After the play, one of the members of the theatre group, Mr Sunil Prajapati said “We have been performing such plays since 8 years. We don’t want to perform such plays but certain incidents keep taking place that compels us to perform such plays.” The campaign concluded after the play.

Before the commencement of the campaign, the members of the organization along with the co-founder had to face backlash by a man who spammed the organization’s WhatsApp group and also called them up. After the completion of the campaign, he put up a post on Facebook along with videos targeting them.


Feature Image Credits- Nazariya

Karan Singhania

[email protected]

The latest edition of Rainbow State of Mind at South Asian University was brought about by Project Voice+ and Nazariya. The event entailed a workshop, slam poetry, panel discussion, and an open mic.

Ipsa James of Karma Centre for Counseling and Wellbeing conducted the workshop and enlightened the audience about the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community. She talked about the different types of sexualities and even the subdivisions of asexuality, the diktats of patriarchy, the discriminatory Trans Bill, Article 377, and the various malpractices against the community.

As the workshop went on, the community and its allies agreed on how even men are victims of the same patriarchy, being feminine is considered weak and only women-based derogatory slangs are used in the society. Ms James revealed about the startling corrective rape and male rape statistics of other countries since India’s statistics are not available yet. From the psychological perspective, she talked about the various styles of attachments that make or break a relationship. She encouraged the audience to be more attentive to their friends’ behaviour and the ways to help them if they come out with problems about their sexuality. On being asked a question about ‘queer-friendly’ doctors, she mentioned the online websites where one can find a credible and reliable LGBT friendly doctor.

Followed by the workshop, the audience was treated with two very moving pieces of slam poetry. Uppo Tsuyo, one of the poets, began with a short message on the LGBTQ+ community in our country and sang an ode to the ‘Young Transmen of India’. In her heartfelt composition, she talked about the struggles of transgender men in our country, from the anxiety of not being ‘man enough’ and corrective rape to the scarring top surgery.  Angana Sinha Ray took the stage with her poem, ‘When your Daughter Brings Home a Dyke’. Angana reclaimed the slang ‘dyke’, which is usually used in a negative connotation, using it to empower her identity. After all, dykes “are just women who love other women who consent”.


The slam poetry was succeeded by a panel discussion by Dr Ruchika from Karma Centre, Shambhavi Saxena, Writer and Editor at Youth Ki Awaaz, Ms Ipsa James, Ruth Chawngthu, Co-Founder of Nazariya, and Rudrani from MITR Trust. The title of the discussion was ‘Labels, Languages and Contemporary Queer Issues’. On being asked about the most pressing queer issues, each panellist spoke their part. Dr Ruchika talked about the biased and outdated tests to get a certification for the gender reassignment surgery. Ms Saxena and Ms James mentioned the lack of representation of the community on policy-making platforms and the judgemental behaviours among psychologists. On being questioned whether the acronym ‘LGBTQIA+’ is a narrow or wide enough representation. All the discussants agreed that such labels can be liberating and restricting at the same time. Ms Rudrani added that labels segregate people and bring inequality. The panel also broached the subject of lack of knowledge about the community. Their basic information is many a time not even taught to doctors. The government provides zero aid to the mental health sector and absolutely no mention of the history of the community.

The day ended with an open mic session on ‘The Politics of my Bedroom’ added liveliness to the environment. Since the event was a ‘safe space’; it allowed the audience members to talk about their lives freely and confidently. Out of all the performances, the most fun to watch was a drag queen expressing the sexual politics of his bedroom.  From allegations against his ex to romantic words for his current partner, he was fierce and full of drama.


Image Credits: PV Purnima for DU Beat.

Prachi Mehra
[email protected]

Raabiya Tuteja
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