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Heart to Heart with QAGAAR

June 30, 2021
  1. What is Qagaar? What’s its purpose? When was it started/revived?
    Qagaar, IIT Roorkee which stands for Queer and Gender Advancement Alliance Roorkee was established with an aim to create a safe space for the IIT Roorkee populace belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. Qagaar aims to amplify their voices, spread awareness and make their concerns heard which have been unaddressed for a long time. There are no membership requirements and we have a healthy functioning team consisting of Straight Allies and members of the community.
    Qagaar was started in 2015 but went inactive in only a year of functioning. In June 2020, it was revived by two great superhumans.

  2. Why did you feel that a group supporting the LGBTQ population was needed at IITR?
    The need for a group supporting the LGBTQ community stems from an extreme lack of awareness and an abundance of myths and misinformation that exists in our society. We believe that homophobes are a loud minority on campus and that most people lack the proper knowledge or awareness and get carried away in this wave of casual homophobia to fit in.
    Qagaar works on two fronts, creating a safe space for people from the community and a targeted sensitisation for the unaware majority. The broader aim being to create a supportive ally environment wherein a group like Qagaar is not needed anymore.

  3. What are you doing to increase awareness and engage people?
    We conduct a plethora of activities online to engage people and provide a platform for them to express themselves. We also regularly put out posts that talk about issues concerning the Queer community like the sexuality series, how to be better allies etc. Apart from this, we do edgy things and thirst over hot people collectively. Just a bunch of hoes to be honest.
    Not to brag but our discord server is hands down one of the most entertaining places to be a part of. We have connected with so many people and built a community where everyone can be themselves without the fear of being judged. It’s not quite like hanging out on campus but it surely is up there.

  4. As Qagaar started during the pandemic, how different will it be once college is offline?
    It is definitely going to be a paradigm shift for us, but we’ll stay true to our initial goal. We will continue to work towards educating people about issues related to the queer community and in addition to that being a place where cool people can hang out. Only cool people that is.

  5. How supportive has the IITR community been to the group?
    When it comes to people of IITR we’ve seen it all, from people actually acknowledging what we do, to people having no lives and being loud homophobes. We do love the popularity though so keep the memes and the confessions about us coming. Laughing at the trolls with our people seems to be our forte.

  6. Have you received support from the older parts of the campus, ie profs and admin?
    No, currently we’re operating as a student only body and are yet to approach any profs or admin for support but also haven’t received any proactive support.

  7. What activities do you do at qagaar?
    As mentioned above, we regularly keep on creating content for our socials. We also hold quizzes, Watch parties, Jam sessions, Game nights etc. Internally, we make fun of dank memers, hold blitz writing competitions, rate dating apps, bully each other, simp for Dua lipa and crib about being single, you know, the usual.

  8. What is pride month? How did you guys go about celebrating it?
    The Stonewall Riots were a series of violent confrontations that started on 28 June 1969 between police and LGBTQ+ rights activists outside Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. The queer community fought and protested for days. In the following years, more developments happened and June came to be known as the Pride Month.
    We had a lot of activities planned throughout the month. We did a series of posts that talked about Trans people and their issues in the first week. We hosted a movie night in the second week, talked about different kinds of flags each day, and did a series of posts talking about the history of things around pride . The most exciting event was Writers in the Dark, an open mic poetry and music event.

  9. What issues have you faced so far in the one year of your existence?
    The major issue we’ve faced has been reaching out to the student body and freshers. Since we’re not an official body yet, we struggle with interactions with the freshers and a majority of the student body and have to rely on our own social media.
    We also believe that Qagaar isn’t and shouldn’t be the only place where Queer problems are discussed, we’re yet to see a widespread acknowledgement from other campus groups about the same.
    Homophobia exists everywhere and we urge each campus group to introspect the behaviour of members in their groups and promote healthy and inclusive workplace environments, which we believe IITR lacks.

  10. What does the future hold for the group?
    Future is overrated. We’re too edgy to think about the future, guillotine the homophobes maybe.