Artwork text: Blackmailer alert: Possible signs to be alert about: He knows about your family, where you stay, where you work, who your friends are, but you have only a phone number or online profile of him; he has your intimate pictures or videos, but doesn’t reciprocate; he pulls at your heart strings with a sob story but pulls away when you ask for the money you lent; he is this unknown character – if you do a check, nobody in community circles seems to know him; he stays away from places and events where a lot of people might see him; he makes homophobic, transphobic or biphobic comments while chatting online or appears to be aggressive in his communication. Indian law no longer penalizes consensual non penile-vaginal sex among adults in private. Section 377, IPC applies to non penile-vaginal sex only if there is force involved. But extortion under all circumstances is punishable (Sections 384, 506). Victims of blackmail should talk about it and report it. QFLN - West Bengal / Varta Trust can provide legal aid support. Forewarned is forearmed and sexy! For more safety tips and where to contact for help, see below. Text is accompanied with a sketch of a man's face with a stricken look and mouth shut, symbolizing the fear of a victim of blackmail. The mouth is covered with a text box that says "For male-to-male online dating". Artwork credit: Pawan Dhall, Rudra Kishore Mandal

Artwork text: Safety tips: If possible, avoid posting a direct picture of your face on dating sites – try using a picture that represents you in a different way like one related to your hobbies or personality; consider meeting only friends of friends – before you meet someone, you could verify that they are known to another trusted friend or are a friend-of-a-friend; first get to know someone better by meeting over Skype or in a safe location, a community-friendly café or any other place 'you' are comfortable with – sharing your home address can be risky; let a friend know where you’re meeting just in case – it’s always a good idea to have people know where you’ve gone; when first meeting someone, take as little with you as you can – don't take your credit or debit cards – just enough cash and a key identity document or two; don’t encourage your date to bring a ‘friend’; when on a date, take your time and pull back whenever you feel it is getting uncomfortable for you; get tested regularly for STIs and HIV – always have conversations with the guys you meet about your safety expectations; for more information and help, write to vartablog@gmail.com. Confidentiality assured. Compiled by Queer Friendly Lawyers Network / Varta Trust with inputs from Grindr
Text updated after Section 377, Indian Penal Code was read down by the Honourable Supreme Court of India on September 6, 2018 – Editor.

Blackmailer alert artwork credit: Rudra Kishore Mandal and Pawan Dhall