Archive for the month July 2020

To The Sung And Unsung LGBT Heroes

I got really tired of being a woman who had to be “perfect” at every turn. I could not have a many days where I could sit and do nothing because I was depressed. It was frowned upon. Depression is frowned upon.

Street Full Of Desire

I can't kiss my love on the street, because she might notice the bruises on my heart from beating too loud, might notice I tremble too much, night notice I'm bringing an earthquake on the pavement.

Memory Of Light: The Love And Poetry Between Two Women In 18th Century Awadh

I had read a lot of Urdu poetry and prose from this time for my 2012 book Gender, Sex and the City, and had discovered that several major writers from Lucknow, Agra and Delhi (but also one from Hyderabad) wrote in the same range of tones and with equal ease about female-female, female-male, and male-male erotic relationships, as well as about all kinds of friendships, including female-male non-sexual friendships.

A Letter To My Past Self

The journey we’re leading will always be riddled with hurdles and more often than not, we’re going to find ourselves at odds with our own thoughts. So today, I write to you solely with the intention of letting you know that it’s okay, everything you’re feeling is okay.

Pink, Purple, And Blue

As someone who had been the new kid too many times and didn’t have a close group of friends, I longed to fit in somewhere. I desperately wanted to be a part of the queer community. I took so many “Am I Gay?” and “Where are you on the Kinsey Scale” quizzes, modifying my answers to get the result I wanted.

Photo Story: Your Body Is Redacted

Nudity or boudoir art is the oldest form of art which has suffered from perceptions of the audience. However, nudity in my body of work developed meanings and answers the question why on a daily basis but in its truest form it is a celebration of oneself.

The Trials Of Navigating Sex As A Demisexual Trans Woman

When I was 16 or 17, just starting to realise that I was trans (though FAR from accepting it), I was also in the early stages of identifying as asexual. I always felt like my attraction to girls was different than people around me. Obviously, I later realised it’s partly because it was gay attraction and not straight attraction, but at that point I figured that the sexual component was missing for me.

How Girl In Red Transformed Dream Pop

In the past three years, Girl in Red has become a household name for young queer girls everywhere. She has become the queer pop icon she always craved when she was younger, and as an out lesbian, her music is defiant and unabashedly queer.

Letter To My Maa

I know I'm living a lie, but it's only because the truth is uglier. I cannot go a day without talking to you, I lose sleep even at the thought of fighting with you. The idea of you not being okay with something in my life makes me wonder if it really is worth it.

Negotiating The Spaces I Experience

As cis women, trans and non-binary persons’ home with and without parents, physical environment, alone spaces are different and are dealt differently but what happens when sexuality never appears as a question out of fear. Is it a privilege that the question appeared much later in my life and I still do not have to bear the brunt of it because I look no different than a cis-heterosexual woman?

The Imposter In My Story

But if I’m being honest, I don’t know if I deserve to be deep about my experience as a bisexual, because that aspect of my has been the easiest to deal with. Sure, I’m not out to my family, so that’s a struggle waiting for me in the future.

Meet Lovely, The Soon-To-Be-Actress, From ‘A Burning’

Lovely is a hijra who works at traffic signals for a living. She lives in a slum in Kolkata and dreams of becoming an actor. Not only that she dreams it, but is working toward it. The setting is a breath of fresh air as most of the novels, when describing the movie world, are obsessed with the tinseltown, Mumbai.

The Body Hair Affair

This ideal, set in 1915, of female and femme presenting bodies, to have smooth, alabaster skin, was one of capitalistic opportunism. However, over the years, through perpetuation and amplifying media imagery, it has evolved into a defining characteristic of femininity itself.

Childhood Is The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies

The moment I saw my little cousin’s eyes droop lower, his face covered in deep grief when my aunt took away his barbie doll, which he was dearly attached to, I strolled down the memory lane when my aunt criticised me for smiling too much because it gave me wrinkles, or when my friend told me that I annoy them too much with my love.

Love Story: Balbir And Mike

We met when I was exhibiting Out Here and Now, a series of paintings that became my personal and professional coming out breakthrough. Only the week before I had ended a 13-year relationship, mostly hidden, with a younger man from my village. Our views of the future had diverged and began to conflict. I was coming out as a gay man and artist; he didn’t want to test the dangers of a more public life any further than we already had. I didn’t blame him.