Many of the queer community members often meet unknown people for dates, chats and more. We have been increasingly hearing cases of extortion, blackmail, sedation, house confinement, rape, and robbery, especially post SC judgement of upholding 377 in Dec 2013. So here are some Dos and Donts to follow when you meet strangers.
- Always meet strangers in public places first such as a coffee shop, a restaurant, a mall or a crowded park. Proceed to their or your place, only if you have had a conversation with them and get some level of confidence.
- If you know the number of the person you are meeting, you can choose to search for that number in True Caller (for spam history), Facebook and google to make sure you are not walking into an extortion racket.
- Inform a close friend (who knows you are queer) about the details of the person you are meeting such as their PR-ID/number, the location of their place etc.
- If you are taking the person to your place, make sure to lock your door from inside (if there is a provision) and hide the keys so that they do not run away with valuables.
- If you plan to have intercourse, make sure to carry condoms and lubricants yourself instead of discovering the lack of them later and going unprotected.
- When you visit someone's place in the city or at a far off place, make sure you will have some transport back home any time so that you can leave the place if you sense something wrong.
- Be confident or at least act confident in the times of crisis, so that culprits do not make use of your fear (Remember it's not illegal to be gay or queer in India, only certain acts are).
- Call up the nearest queer helpline numbers (Visit other posts of this blog for Bangalore numbers), if you end up in a unwanted situation.
- Do NOT carry excess cash, credit/debit cards or valuable items when you visit a stranger's place
- Do NOT expose strangers to your vulnerable personal stories, such as lack of acceptance at home/workplace or marital status etc (They may use it to blackmail you).
- Do NOT leave your wallet, mobile or other valuables unattended at your or their place during your meeting with strangers.
- Do NOT consume drinks or eatables offered by them (which might be sedated) at their place.
- Do NOT do drugs or alcohol with strangers. Anything that can take away your consciousness is a strict NO.