THE GOA RAINBOW TRUST
Who We Are
Goa Rainbow Trust is a budding Goa-based NGO that caters to the LGBTQ+ community. We host a range of events which help bring together a very diverse community under one safe, secure, trustworthy and welcoming roof. We wish to create a safe environment for each and every individual, irrespective of sexual or gender identity. We aim to embrace inclusivity throughout our events, inspiring the morals of 'unity in diversity'.
This first-of-its-kind, the NGO was founded by Chris Fernandes, who is the CEO & Founder of the Trust and aiding her is Francis Fernandes (Co-founder, Chairman).
Goa Rainbow Trust successfully hosted Pride De Goa on October 27, 2018, and a few other events like a Movie Night, Pre-Pride Party and Post-Pride Party. Following these events, we are working towards getting as many members as possible. We are open to members from every nook and cranny of the community.
CEO & Founder
Christine M. Fernandes is the founder of the Goa Rainbow Trust, one of Goa’s prominent Non-Profit Organisation working for the cause of equality for the LGBTQ+
community. Born in Mumbai in 1981, Christine, who prefers to be called Chris, is actually a Veterinarian nurse by profession. Chris feels more masculine and has openly accepted his sexual orientation as a gay person. He comes from a modest middle class family, where his father was an airline manager and mother is a beautician. All through his young age Chris has bravely professed his love and been open about his sexuality. However, after a life threatening accident in 2006, Chris discovered a newfound respect for life, and decided that he would live his life more fearlessly, not just for himself, but also for others in the LGBTQ+ community. He believes that no person should have to go through challenges that the LGBTQ+ community face. Hence, he started the Goa Rainbow Trust with his first meeting conducted in 2013. With Goa Rainbow Trust, Chris aims to bring the community together to speak out their truths, overcome hurdles and bring about awareness about their issues. For Chris, the Goa Rainbow Trust is a ‘home away from home’. They are also looking at helping the poor and those in need, from sick and untreated little children to mistreated innocent animals.
In November 2018, Goa Rainbow Trust crossed a big milestone of being legally registered Trust. As of now, Goa Rainbow Trust is funded solely by Chris himself, but he hopes to have various organizations help out in any way they can. Through Goa Rainbow Trust, he aims at creating a platform for support and guidance to the students, reaching out to those in slums with healthcare facilities and uniting the LGBTQ+ community in Goa. Chris believes that the LGBTQ+ individuals, like any other heterosexual individuals, deserve to enjoy equal rights as they too are citizens of India. Although Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code has been read down, there are no proper laws that safeguard the transgender community from abuse by the police and government officials. Also, transgender individuals find it difficult to avail healthcare benefits, which the government should make mandatory for all irrespective of orientation, gender and caste. Chris feels that The United States of America, being the land where the Equal Rights Movement began, and Canada should be examples for the Indian Government and society with regards to the progress with the LGBTQ+ community. On a personal level, Chris also has a passion for singing and cooking. In his spare time he enjoys collecting coins and watching movies.
Born and raised in The State of Kuwait and moved to Borim, Goa for good in 2011. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Don Bosco
College of Engineering, Goa. Hobbies include singing, reading and writing. As a kid, he was always attracted to boys/men, but what he saw around him made
him question his being. He tried dating girls so that he could fit in. Fortunately, he never got a single yes from any girls that he proposed. Once he realized that he
was gay and understood what it meant and that it wasn't anything wrong but natural, he decided to come out. First, he had to come out to and accept himself as
he was. After doing so, he came out to everyone else. Coming from a middle-class family and seeing what the underprivileged went
through everyday, he always wanted to give back to the world. Also, bring part of the LGBTQ+ community and knowing that many others like me didn't have many
rights in their favor, he wanted to give his time towards the fight for equality. Hence, in September 2018, Goa Rainbow Trust paved the way towards fulfilling my
inner drive of giving back.
Co-founding and running Goa Rainbow Trust with the team has been quite an intuitive ride. The struggles we face help us grow and prepare for future ones.
Working as a team has always helped us achieve our goals and we are determined to take on even bigger challenges as they come by.