What’s ‘out and proud’, has won over 1,800 likes in two days and is raring to exchange notes on leaving a sex trail and being caught in the act?
It’s Qradio, India’s first online radio station dedicated to the LGBT community at home, in South Asia, and beyond.
Launched at midnight Tuesday from Bengaluru, the city in southern India that alternates between emancipation and moral policing, Qradio is a 24×7 online radio channel offered by Radiowalla.in, a multichannel internet radio platform running over 30 stations, with the aim of creating a mainstream media platform for the community.
‘One of the main objectives of Radiowalla.in, as a platform, is to cater to special interests of a population not being addressed by mainstream media adequately and that of inclusion of all through the diverse channels offered on this radio platform,’ said Anil Srivatsa, CEO and Co-founder of Radiowalla Network Private Limited, the parent company of Radiowalla.in,
‘I believe that the gay and lesbian population can benefit from a space of their own.’
Srivatsa is hoping that India’s first LGBT radio station will ‘create awareness and acceptance about alternate sexuality’ so that South Asian families with gay members understand and accept them and non-LGBT people are sensitized, creating a bridge over the gap between various sexualities.
For now, listeners can tune in through their computers or mobile devices once they are hooked to the internet. In the pipeline is a mobile app.
‘We would love the South Asian LGBT community around the world to contribute, participate and also add to this channel with more of their own content to be part of our offering on Radiowalla.in,’ Harry Bhatia, the company’s co-founder, told the media.
The fledgling FM station is whetting appetites with its racy Facebook posts, promising chats on ‘topics between the sheets’, like leaving a sex trail and getting caught, or having people walk in on you while in the act, at home or in public.
For starters, the major shows are LGBT (Let’s Get Beyond Ties), which promises to be both serious and fun, HQO, where people tell their stories about coming out, and Heart-to-Heart, an agony aunt session where Inner Sight, a counseling organization, will be offering advice.
In India, a land of one billion plus people, the LGBT community is estimated to be at least two-million strong. However, homosexuality is still taboo despite the Supreme Court having repealed sections of a colonial law that made sex between consenting adult males a criminal offense.
Qradio plans to be the voice of the community through debates, discussions and programs that inform listeners what is happening around the world, especially in the worlds of law and social norms.
Also in the pipeline are sessions on fashion, lifestyle and employment, not to mention music.
At present, the programs are in English and Hindi but the organizers plan to add regional languages in future.