Nidhi*, a lesbian from Bhopal, faced a harsh reality. Despite belonging to the millennial generation with access to online resources about gender and sexuality, she couldn’t confide in her family. Societal pressure forced her into a marriage with a childhood friend who turned abusive upon learning about her true sexual orientation. Today, after a harrowing divorce, Nidhi finds solace and friendship in a new social media platform – Pride+.

Pride+: Born from Allyship and a Desire for Change

Pride+ is the brainchild of Aayush Agrawal, a former entertainment professional turned entrepreneur. Witnessing the ostracization faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals, including a non-binary friend struggling to find gender-fluid clothing and a transwoman lacking avenues to sell her sarees, ignited a fire in Agrawal. The tipping point came when his former workplace offered referral bonuses for hiring “handicapped, female, or LGBTQIA+ candidates,” highlighting a blatant lack of inclusivity.

Driven by a desire to create a safe space and empower the community, Agrawal embarked on a challenging journey. He spent seven months learning to code, pouring his heart and soul into developing Pride+. Today, the app boasts six key features: Community, Jobs, Chat, Trings (video sharing), Marketplace, and Meditation.

A Platform for Expression, Support, and Shared Experiences

The “Community” feature allows members to discuss LGBTQIA+ issues and news. For Nidhi, who battled depression due to isolation, Pride+ became a lifeline. Here, she could finally share her story and trauma with a supportive community, finding solace and a sense of belonging.

Pride+ Goes Beyond Social Connection: Addressing Mental Health and Career Needs

The platform doesn’t stop at fostering connections. Recognizing the mental health struggles faced by many LGBTQIA+ individuals, Agrawal is actively developing features for therapy, education, career counseling, couples counseling, sexual wellness, and dating. This holistic approach aims to address various community needs under one roof.

From Witnessing Injustice to Empowering Entrepreneurs

Agrawal’s own experiences with societal prejudice fueled his dedication to the project. Having lost his father at a young age and seeing his mother ostracized, he witnessed the harsh realities faced by marginalized communities. This empathy translates into the “Marketplace” feature, which empowers LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs like Rajat*, a 29-year-old marketing professional from Gurugram. Rajat, who creates art on glass bottles, finally found the confidence to showcase his work on Pride+ and received his first sales within a month.

Pride+ Trings: A Stage for Creative Expression

“Trings,” the video-sharing feature, allows members to share glimpses of their lives and express themselves creatively. This fosters a sense of community and celebrates the diversity within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

Jobs Tailored for the Community: Matching Skills with Opportunities

The “Jobs” feature aims to eliminate bias by promoting job listings curated for LGBTQIA+ individuals based on merit and talent. This empowers community members to find opportunities that value their unique skills and experiences.

Monetization with a User-Centric Approach

Currently free to use, Pride+ plans to introduce paid services later this year. These include educational courses provided by partners, therapy sessions, and premium dating options. All services will be offered at affordable rates, ensuring accessibility for the community. Additionally, a premium plan will bundle all paid services at a discounted cost.

Pride+ for Businesses: Fostering Inclusion and Collaboration

The platform also offers a B2B (business-to-business) model. This includes services like job postings, consulting, partnerships with content creators, educational institutions, and media outlets. For example, Pride+ can connect educational institutions offering gender studies courses with experts from the community for guest lectures. Revenue generated from these partnerships will be used to subsidize plans for individual users.

A Thriving Ecosystem for the LGBTQIA+ Community

Pride+ is more than just a social media platform. It’s a testament to the power of allyship and a vision for a more inclusive future. As the platform grows, it aims to evolve into a comprehensive ecosystem that caters to the diverse needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. From fostering a safe space for connection and self-expression to providing access to mental health resources, career opportunities, and entrepreneurial endeavors


Dr. Ishaan Patel, an experienced editor at Atom News, is passionate about health and lifestyle reporting. Santosh's commitment to promoting well-being and highlighting lifestyle trends adds a valuable dimension to our coverage, ensuring our readers lead informed and healthy lives.