BENGALURU: Childhood friends Anoop Murali and Chandan Das observed many instances of harsh treatment against the transgender community, starting from roadside begging to sex trafficking. Feeling that there is a need for a safe platform for the community, which could also provide suitable job prospects and counselling, they launched the platform The Pridebook recently, on the same lines of Facebook.
The platform provides a medium wherein the community can connect, interact with the global community, seek counsel and explore job opportunities. The main objective is to create a safe space and more acceptance and openness for the LGBTQIA+. The Pridebook is also an effort to debunk misconceptions about the community.
Murali, the founding member of The Pridebook, says that the platform will give them a “perspective of
how different cultures across the globe have treated or mistreated the community over time, thus, giving them a choice to form their own support groups to deal with challenges that they face on a daily basis.”
Both the founding partners, Murali and Das consulted many people from the LGBTQIA+ community and finally, prompted by the recent ending of section 377 by the Supreme Court of India, they found the perfect opportunity to launch the platform.
The Pridebook is supported by famed LGBTQIA+ activist Akkai Padmashali and academicians such as Dr Ali Khwaja. Creating the platform wasn’t easy as several people are still not open to the idea. “People would frown upon the idea, but then eventually, we succeeded in reasoning it out with some valid explanations with regards to the importance and need for this kind of a platform,” says Murali.
As the platform aims to create an inclusive community space, it is not restricted to the LGBTQIA+ community alone. “Anybody can sign up for a membership on the website. However, we have a team dedicated to monitoring the content on the website and have created parameters on objectionable content such as obscenity and nudity,” says Murali, adding that the response so far has been encouraging.
“The community had shared how they feel that they are not being accepted by the society as one of the most demotivating factors. Therefore, we have ensured that the platform is not exclusive at any stage,” he says, adding that 40 per cent of the users are from Bengaluru, along with members from other parts of India and also a few from the UK and the US.