A discount card, designed according to your sexual orientation? As queer as it may sound, this is exactly what a new LGBT card promises to be. Claiming to be Asia’s first, the card offers discounts and deals on everything from food and drinks to lifestyle stores and salons like many other lifestyle cards, only it is focusing on the city’s queer community.
The card will be launched on April 27. And though the rainbow community is abuzz with the news, many like fashion stylist Ishita Choudhary are most interested in one thing. “How will they ascertain one’s sexual preferences, to make sure the card is being used by someone from the queer community?” she asks, adding, “The concept sounds bizarre, since no such scanning process is possible.”
The international culture and lifestyle fortnightly that is introducing the card confirms that there is no scanning process. “Most LGBT-owned businesses in the city are part of this card and are offering discounts to card holders. It’s available to anyone who wants it, but the benefits it offers are of interest and utility mainly to members of the LGBT community,” says Naresh Fernandes, consulting editor, Time Out India.
Film Director Onir, who will be launching the card in the city next week, feels that, “The card enables people to also know that certain places are LGBT-friendly. It gives the community more space where one does not feel threatened or unwelcome.” For card-hoarder Kritika Pant, who has a collection of over 27 discount cards from different brands in the city, the card has no novelty value if it is available to everyone. However, Pant is not complaining. “Discounts at multiple pubs, restaurants and lifestyle stores are always welcome.”
In addition, a pink pages directory comprising contacts for gay-friendly doctors, psychiatrists and lawyers, compiled by Humsfar Trust, will also be made available to all the card-holders. “"That’s a handy thing to have,” feels Choudhary adding, “It’s good to know places you can turn to, if need be.”