I search for stories everywhere. I love them. I wouldn’t be able to survive without them. When I was little, I used to beg my sister to read me my favorite Pinocchio story, the one I knew by heart- just one more time. I still don’t know why it was so important to hear that story.
But over the years, I have realized that stories are very essential for the survival of our race. It is the stories that connect us all, give us a hint of the million possibilities, engage us, and produce experiences unknown to us. They leave lasting impressions & go far deeper than facts or figures. When a story resonates with us; it moves us, enthralls us with its possibility & forces us to retell it many times over… And when a story hits us, it changes us forever!
It was this very thought that pushed us (the Gaysi fellas), to initiate the creation of Gaysi Zine. The spectrum from ‘being invisible’ to ‘being loud’ is big & diverse. And I know it’s not easy to shift from one end to the other. Most of us like to stay somewhere in between, hoping to cross over when it is safe. That is okay. But I know a few for whom this choice of moving away from being invisible or being mute doesn’t exist. They are all alone in their world.
I grew up in Delhi, & studied in the best of schools & colleges. Yet, I learnt the meaning of the word ‘lesbian’ properly for the first time when I was 24! It really makes me wonder how much knowledge is accessible to people living in smaller towns & cities.
We are unaware of each other’s stories and each other’s lives. And the Zine hopes to bridge that gap & connect us. It aims to encourage us to find “our” own stories, identify the music running in the background of our lives, & shape the various possibilities that exist. It pushes us to play with our imaginations, & give in to the ideal, fantastical world we create.
And I’m pretty sure it would find that single chord running amongst all the stories, & desires. It would enable us to acknowledge diversity, & affirm people.
Well, a lot of you have suggested that the blog is doing just that. But people who love the smell of old books, or enjoy the experience of turning pages to reveal a new world, know why we decided on this self- published circulation. Only so that it can find a place in a library, a bookstore, a coffee table, a bookshelf in your dining-room or may be under your pillow! So that a few years from now, it can remind you of your journey. Perhaps, by revealing a scribbled note hidden between the pages? Or a train ticket? I notice a stain of mutton curry on my only copy of Zine 1 and I am transported back to a restaurant in Mumbai where I celebrated Zine 1 with someone, over delicious food & vodka!
It is with great pleasure that we invite each one of you to be a part of this initiative which has the power to make a difference in the lives of people – straight & gay, and a real mark in the world of queer writing in the long run.