ADDED ON: 07/13/2018

Now a Cafe Makes Queer Women Feel at Home

07/12/2018 | Times of India

They meet in coffee shops and public spaces to share their dreams and anxieties. But, even while they gather amidst bustling city spaces, they are careful to keep their identities private. Even today, society is not very accepting or understanding of queer women. Chennai Queer Cafe (CQC), which has a presence on Facebook and had its first offline meet in September 2017, aims to address that lacunae and offer a safe social space for queer cis women in and around Chennai. “Some of us felt the lack of this space leading to loneliness and invisibility of queer women,” says Deepthi, a core group member of CQC. For people who are not familiar with different gender identities, the terminology can get confusing. Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. A cis woman is a person who is born in a female body and identifies as a woman but they can be of any orientation — a lesbian, straight, bisexual, pansexual or any other. The word ‘queer’ also refers to anyone who is not straight. “In a predominantly heteronormative society, it might be hard for a queer cis woman to talk or share her life. They may feel unsafe, unaccepted and many maintain a facade of being heterosexual but that may also cause great anxiety,” says Deepthi, adding that knowing there are others like you helps people feel less lonely, anxious and depressed.

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