Through its various initiatives, Blued India, India’s No.1 gay dating platform has gone one step ahead to reach out to the community, create a safe space for all those trying to come out of the closet, and meet like-minded people. Ritz in conversation with Palash Borah, CSR & Operations Manager, Blued India.
- How do you think Blued India will change the game in the dating industry?
Blued India is not just another dating app, it is more like a social community for users. We treat our users as a community and encourage them to communicate and spread awareness about the community. Our holistic approach towards creating awareness, encouraging conversations, and being a platform for the community by the community is a key differentiator for us.
- Tell us about the series of events Blued India launched on its virtual platform to celebrate the third milestone of decriminalization of section 377 in India…
At Blued it is our constant endeavor to celebrate all milestones related to the community. Three years of decriminalization of section 377 in India was a big win for the community and we had to make it special, hence we hosted a virtual platform of Blued India. The event that took place on our platform witnessed the participation of over 27,000 members of the Blued community.
In this virtual event, we asked members of the community to #ExpressTheirPride through various forms of art such as dance, music, art, and poetry. Members from all over India came together, decorated their backgrounds from each of their homes with Rainbow Balloons, Pride Flag, and dressed exceptionally well to express their joy on the third-year milestone. It was an evening filled with pride, emotions, and love for the community members.
- How challenging was it to build safe online spaces in India?
Even in 2021, a very small proportion of the population accepts the LGBTQI community wholeheartedly, this in itself was a huge barrier for us. The main reason for the same is the societal stigma that exists and the lack of conversations in the deeper pockets of India – we as a community face the wrath of judgemental mindsets and biases. Hence the main vision for us is to protect the community while giving them a platform for expression.
Through our various initiatives, we have gone one step ahead to reach out to the community, create a safe space for all those trying to come out of the closet. We launched a series of events on our virtual platform to celebrate freedom, love, and equality for all, we have not only helped the community to feel safe but also heightened the overall awareness about the community.
- How Blued India has leveraged the power of social media to reach out to deep-rooted pockets of India?
Being a strong voice in fostering the LGBTQ community in India, Blued India knew that to create a real impact and to address stereotypes we had to reach out to the deeper pockets of India, and what better medium than a combination of radio and social media to do so? We took the less known path to collaborate with RED FM and led to the launch of the first-ever LGBTQ ON-AIR show along with its standalone podcast.
From topics like ‘Being gay in Bollywood’ to topics like cross-dressing, we invited strong voices who spoke passionately about their subjects and took a step towards normalizaing these conversations. This podcast was not only hosted on RED FM platforms but was amplified across major podcast mediums and our guests also amplified the show on their social media channels which led to a great reach of us in terms of numbers as well a diversified audience spectrum.
- Explain the CSR Work that Blued is doing to keep the community alive and motivated in India…
At Blued, our community is at the heart of the operations. As a part of our most recent CSR effort, we launched a free of cost, hygiene kits distribution drive for low-income families residing in Kanpur City and neighboring areas. As the country battled COVID-19, we ensured that we did our bit. Having already distributed a total of 100 kits in each area, the distribution drive went on for two months.
Additionally, through our community platform, we have identified Blued city ambassadors across major parts of the country. These ambassadors help us in the upliftment of communities in their areas while normaliszing conversations around LGBTQ and helping more people come out of the closet and create safe spaces.
- Tell us about the measures Blued India has taken to protect user privacy…
We take our users very seriously – the data that we ask users to fill in is very basic in nature. Our policy ensures that data is secured and safe and encrypted, we keep our users at the core of our operations and do not ask them to share any data that would hamper their privacy.