Meet Our Awards Nominee : Queer Nilayam

Our inspiring awards nominee Queer Nilayam has been nominated for The Restore Awards™️ nominated under the category Inclusivity Vision – Organisation/ Individual for their amazing work as a support group for the LGBTQIA+ and Queer community in Hyderabad, were they create a safe space for queer people to discuss issues faced by the community and connect with each other and their primary goal is to provide a physical space to organise events and meetings to support the LGBTQIA+ community.

As the Founder of Queer Nilayam, Jayant Iyer identifies as a gay man, originally from Kerala, born and raised in Bangalore. He started his career as a chef for 6 years, moved to the BPO industry and worked as a trainer for another 6 years. Currently, he lives and work in Hyderabad as a Documentation Manager at ValueLabs. He was never able to cherish his childhood days. He was sexually abused at the age of 7 which continued for 5 long years and wasn’t good at studies. Hence, his father never liked him then and he doesn’t like Jayant now for being gay. The only person who Jayant loved more than himself was his mother who passed away a couple of years ago.

Jayant came out to his mother at the age of 17 and for a decade he was taken to meet counsellors, psychiatrists, temple priests, astrologers, doctors, and even my extended family. He had also been advised to take aversion therapy. Jayant was about to get engaged to a girl. He came out to his brother when he was 24 and came out to his father when he was 28, when Jayant’s father asked him to get married and settle down, that’s when he decided to put some knowledge and learnings into his family. His brother and his family support him. Even after all these years, Jayant’s father expects him to get married to a girl.

When Jayant moved to Hyderabad, he was looking forward to being part of a group like Good As You, Bangalore, but there were none like it. He was once embarrassed by a famous Queer spokesperson saying they don’t want any suggestions from the outsiders even though their group had invited Jayant to the Hyderabad Pride Meet 2020. Slowly he started connecting with Queer individuals from across India, trying to understand what they need in order to create a support group in Hyderabad. Jayant came across Tushar Rangari who is from Nagpur and works in Hyderabad who was very much interested in starting a support group in Hyderabad. He connected Jayant with Riddhi Kedia who is from Hyderabad. With the help of a few more Queer individuals, they organised a small get-together at Jayant’s house. With 6 Queer individuals present, himself included, they founded Queer Nilayam on March 7th, 2021.

The weekly meetings held by Queer Nilayam serve many LGBTQIA+ individuals to discuss emotional, social, health, and other issues concerning the queer people of Hyderabad and all over India. Many individuals have come to terms with their sexuality and/or gender identity by participating in these meetings. Online and Offline meetings are conducted every week. It is an open space and participants are encouraged to provide more direction for queer folks to socialize and create a sense of belonging.

Since it’s existence (March 2021), we have organised 100+ physical/virtual events and meetings. (Including Breast Cancer Awareness, HIV/STD Awareness, Sensitisation Awareness Sessions, Mental HealthCare Sessions, Asexuality Awareness Sessions, Introduction of different LGBT NGOs, Physical Health Sessions, etc). They donated medical kits to 60 Trans families which reached close to 600 folks. Recently they donated an Automatic Sewing Machine to 2 transwomen to upscale their business. Queer Nilayam also published an Ezine – QueerNama last year. It’s Telangana’s First Queer Magazine. This October, the second edition will be published as an E-copy.

Currently, they are organising Hyderabad Satrangi Mela (A Queer Festival), a place where the LGBTQIA+ community’s entrepreneurs, artists, and performers can reach their target audience face-to-face.This feast is happening for the first time to empower queer artists, queer entrepreneurs and presenters not only by giving platform but also by providing financial support.All the entries would enable them to provide a better approach towards queer based experience. The Mela is an inclusive event and is open to everyone.

For the last 14 years, RachnaRestores™️ (About us) has been working in the areas of clinical evidence reversal from chronic conditions across 27 countries. In 2019, we instituted our community initiatives, one of which is The Restore Awards™️. These awards recognise and reward warriors, doctors, healers, businesses and companies who work in the areas of emotional well-being, inclusiveness and mental and physical wellbeing.

The Restore Awards™️ are happening on the 3rd December 2022 at Taj Lands End, Bandra, Mumbai and our theme for this year is Emotional Wellbeing. Our jury members are doctors, health experts, health warriors and corporate leaders of national and international repute. The nominations received are from various walks of life being a health hero helping others in emotional wellbeing, inclusiveness and mental and physical wellbeing as a healer, warrior, doctor, chef, product or organisation.

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