Bringing a fresh wave of change, the capital has opened its doors to its first LGBTQ café — Chez Jerome – Q. Huddled near the Qutub Minar, the rooftop restaurant welcomes the queer community and helps them voice their feelings through art. An expert in French and Indian cuisines, chef Chez Jerome, started the café in October 2016, and the co-owner Sambhav sowed the seeds of turning it into a safe haven for the LGBTQ community.
“The LGBTQ community lacks safe spaces. So, most importantly, we are trying to make a safe place for them. Every community must have equal rights when it comes to dining or enjoying night life, and that’s how the idea of this cafe came to me,” Sambhav told indianexpress.com. A gay rights and human rights activist, the 27-year-old added that “he always wanted to propagate his activism on gender”.
Did he face any challenges while setting up the café and making it a secure zone? Narrating a tragic incident, he told indianexpress.com, “There was a drunk guy who came to our café and created a ruckus. When we asked him to leave, he was about to punch me in the face.” But it didn’t deter Sambhav down. Opening up about the difficult times he has faced, he shared: “We first realised about negativity when we came out of the closet. I came out when I was just 17. Now that I’ve come through all of it, these tiny hurdles feel like nothing.”