Yaariyan (Friendship) is a voluntary LGBTQ+ youth initiative and a support group by The Humsafar Trust which functions as an online forum, organizes offline events, and facilitates youth access to health and social support. Yaariyan was founded in 2010. Yaariyan is managed by volunteers (core team) who are selected following an annual call for interviews to take place of members between ages 18 and 28. Interview processes are managed and conducted solely by the core team for selecting new members. The current Yaariyan Team comprises eleven LGB-identified volunteers between the ages of 18 and 28 years who manage key activities and initiatives of Yaariyan. The organization is democratic in approach and all key decisions and activities are conducted with the consensus of all members.
Yaariyan organizes movie screenings, outings, bonding events, HIV and STI awareness talks, and discussions on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ youth on a monthly basis. Our events see a crowd of 80 (workshops) to 900 (fetes) LGBTQ+ youth. We also have a very active secret Facebook group named Yaariyan (current membership is over 8500 LGBTQ+ members) that serves as a platform for friendly discussions on queer issues as well as health outreach.
Yaariyan is among the first platforms where youth with LGBTQ+ identities have met and come together under the same umbrella. Yaariyan discussions have provided a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth to address larger issues that may pertain to their sexuality. Yaariyan has a number of online quiz/selfie/creative talent contests that encourage members to get involved in social causes (such as World AIDS Day) and create general awareness. Many youngsters who attend our events speak on such a platform for the first time. Through its endeavors, Yaariyan has effectively managed to become a voice and identity for young LGBTQ+ in Mumbai. Yaariyan has also motivated a larger number of LGBTQ+ youth to access health services at The Humsafar Trust. Currently, we are over 8500 members.