15 Desi-Queer Instagrammers You Must Follow Right Now

This Pride month, we’ve found gold at the end of the rainbow—desi queer Instagrammers and their brilliant posts.

As far as addictive apps go, Instagram is definitely number one. One could find stuff straight from their dreams there. This Pride month, we’ve found gold at the end of the rainbow—desi queer Instagrammers and their brilliant posts. Quirky, hilarious, fun, delicious, beautiful—I know it sounds like I’m describing the perfect partner but hold that thought—their posts are all reflections of who they are. There’s so much beauty in this world, people! Which way does one look?

 

1. Sana Javeri Kadri

Sana’s world revolves around food. It is food that she photographs, writes and researches, while two-timing between Mumbai, India and Oakland, California. Her work is at the intersection of sustainability, social justice, agriculture, art, and of course, really delicious food.

“To me, queer food is food that is inherently political—shattering patriarchal norms and honoring women, specifically those of colour in our food system. It is food that aligns with my politics as a queer femme of colour and acknowledges that the personal is political.”

Sana’s page, apart from giving you serious cravings, takes you right back to the earthy, cosy vibe of your mother’s kitchen.

2. Alok Vaid-Menon

Alok is a gender nonconforming writer and performer, and a phenomenal one at that! They perform across the world and have opened several minds to the non-binary non-conforming view of gender. Anyone who gives a cursory glance at Alok’s page will witness the raw intensity and honesty which is tightly woven into them. All of Alok’s posts intend to cause the mainstream acute discomfort, with a resounding passion that is clearly a big part of who Alok is.

3. Sapna Moti Bhavnani

There isn’t one hat that Sapna hasn’t donned. Films, fashion, hair, writing, spoken word, photography, music, reality television shows —she’s done it all. Not just this, Sapna is one conscious public figure who is always using the power of her voice to help those who need it. Her Instagram page exudes ample growth, positivity, peace and happiness! Looking at her posts, it’s easy to see that life is a festival and Sapna is celebrating it to the fullest.

4. Sanika Phawde

Sanika is an illustrator, with a special love for surrealism. Her art is a unique blend of life’s big questions, the mundane and plenty of humour.

She says, “From the theme of discomfort in mental and physical spaces and how it can be expressed and evoked, my work has evolved into questions about identity in the face of nihilism or theism, as a smol ambitious brown illustrator, and the rainbows and heartbreaks I’ve faced along the way.”

5. Debasmita Das

Quirky and contextual, Debasmita’s illustrations make you smile at the absurdity of life, pop culture and everything else in between. Her work is not only unique as an illustration style but also a stark reflection of her inner-most feelings. “My illustrations are for me, a way of acknowledging the deeply personal side of being queer, instead of fixating on it being a politicized identity. I find freedom in the ambiguity of identifying as queer and I find the freedom to show myself in the ambiguity of art,” she says.

 

6. Jasjyot Singh Hans 

Jasjyot is an illustrator with a penchant for the human form. His art covers several themes such as sexuality, acceptance and body positivity. His comics are raw, relatable and funny all at once.

“These are my way of depicting bodies and through them, I speak about things that are largely left out of the mainstream. As a big, gay Sikh, lack of representation of intersectionality has been unsettling.”

7. Devarshi Gohil 

An illustrator and an architect, Devarshi is bold and vocal on her Instagram page. The deeper context behind each of her posts will ring strong and true to anyone who comes across them. Part-art, part-queer and part-cat-person, Devarshi considers herself a feminist, someone who believe in equal rights. “I tend to draw myself a lot and mostly women, as I discuss issues we face in today’s world. My feministic beliefs percolate into my work quite naturally as I’m constantly evolving as a person and as an illustrator,” she says.

8. Ashish Sawhny 

Ashish is a filmmaker and revels in art, Urdu, yoga and bitter chocolate. His Instagram page tells us a thing or two about cherishing life, loving your work and seeing the beauty in everything. Most of his pictures are stills from shoots of documentary films he makes about people from the LGBTQ community in the hope of inspiring people and giving them wings. “Normalising our narratives with the byline of visibility will hopefully go a long way in bringing acceptability. I find it a privilege to be able to tell stories that relate so closely to mine,” says Ashish.

9. Kareem Khubchandani

Kareem Khubchandani is a Boston-based academic and an artist. His Instagram account showcases his drag persona, LaWhore Vagistan. As everyone’s favourite desi drag aunty, LaWhore will judge you for your misogyny and punish you with salt in your chai. You don’t mess with Aunty.
“It’s taken a long time to feel comfortable sharing pictures of LaWhore Vagistan online. I didn’t feel confident in my artistry until recently. I wasn’t confident enough to feel like she deserved her own place on the internet, even though I’ve been doing drag since 2009. I guess it just took a while to settle into my identity as an artist and to feel like I have something to share with the world,” says Kareem.

10. Punit Reddy

Punit is a photographer. His Instagram posts are stark moments from ordinary human life. Punit’s pictures have a way of combining the raw with tender and leave you mesmerised. His photographs are ordinary journeys of ordinary people, drawing out the most salient feature of a person’s life in one frame.

11. Justine Rae Mellocastro 

Justine is a freelance hairstylist. From her Instagram account, it’s plain to see that she loves what she does. The flow, movement, and rawness of nature inspires her the most and shines on her work. “I never really know what to say when people ask me about my sexuality because I strongly believe that we’re all born the same living beings. Doesn’t matter what gender you are, it’s all just about love and compassion, for yourself, for what you do and for everyone around”, she adds.

12. Pallavi Sen

Pallavi is an interdisciplinary artist, working with installation, printmaking, textiles, Instagram and intuitive movement. A peek into her Instagram account reveals lightness, energy and a spirit one can’t help but absorb. Everything she posts looks some kind of pretty. Especially the cats!

13. Elton J Fernandez

Elton is a celebrity make-up artist. His Instagram page has the kind of beauty one could never look away from—I don’t just mean the gorgeous actresses he works with. It’s hard to not get caught up in all the confidence that his posts exude. Elton’s posts are addictive. Hence good luck not going into a scroll-trance.

14. Vikram Aditya Sahai

Vikram is a writer. Not only are their posts candid, the captions that come along are captivating as well. Vikram is loud, bold and adamant in their beliefs, adding much colour to their pictures. Their posts will grab all of your attention with both hands and they will make you listen. You won’t be able to look away.

15. Kean Rui Alvares

Kean is a makeup artist. His Instagram page is a lovely showcase of his work and himself. Make-up, Kean says, gives one the wings to express themselves in their various forms. There are few things in the world that give you the space to be who you are and be who you want to be—make-up does that. “Make-up artistry has been an integral medium of communication for me, the ability to manipulate the way one looks by bringing out the best in them is a very fulfilling process,” says he.

About the author

Alice in WLand

Forever climaxing on pleasures of the tastebuds, all she wants from life is a kitchen of her own. ‘Why’ is her favourite question and ‘no’, her favourite answer.