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It’s a community for queer men, not a hook-up space,” says Mandar.

Now, PR has 3 million users globally, and India comprises 7% of that (91,800 users; source: planetromeo.com).

In India, this lack of security comes at a big cost.

Case in point: the 2011 TV9 Planet Romeo exposé in Hyderabad.

Consequently, alternative forums are cropping up for queer individuals to meet each other.

For instance,, a Facebook page that launched in June, this year, functions as a matchmaking platform and ensures absolute anonymity to its users. All new applicants go through a thorough background check — we scan their Facebook profile and other social media accounts,” says Karan, 26, founder, Amour.

“A pre-defined space to socialise is always preferred as it allows for a level of anonymity and acceptance,” says Sridhar Rangayan, a film-maker and a queer rights activist.

Online interaction ensured a degree of privacy and anonymity: there was no mandate to upload a display picture, or reveal your real name.

Mandar*, 24, a Mumbai-based MBA student, met his boyfriend on Grindr — a dating app for gay men — in 2014. I was told it was futile to look for a long-term partner, as users look for sexual partners.

They matched each other’s profiles and, after a few dates, began seeing each other. Fortunately, I met someone who shared the same outlook,” he says.

The channel featured a sting operation titled ‘rampant homosexual culture’ and publically identified gay men via their PR profiles.

Eventually, a lawsuit was slapped on the channel by the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, but the damage was done (source: gaysifamily.com).

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