As Nas’ soul ascends towards the sky, the clouds above part to reveal a bright light and an angel. However, Nas chooses to hold onto a pole emerging from below, poledancing through their descent into Hell.
If the fatphobia isn't concerning enough, another stereotypical Indian OB-GYN response we picked up from your responses is sex-shaming, or rather ‘penetration-shaming’. If women got a dollar for every time they have been denied sonography, pap smear, HIV/STD screening because they are ‘unmarried’ (codeword for ‘not “broken into” yet, as they clearly have not had sex because… they are unmarried’) – they would have enough to relocate to a country with less judgmental gynaecologists.
The popular notion that lesbians desire like men is infuriating: our affections may be directed towards the same subset of the population but we neither experience nor express them in a similar fashion. However, as evident by the movies that I would gravitate towards, my perception of women was unwittingly steeped in the ‘male gaze’.
The way I see it, people in these parts of the world, regardless of their gender or sexuality, may find it hard to feel safe as-is. This experience may be magnified for the local queer communities, and remaining closeted may be the norm.
These small gestures are hard to forget. Even now, when I’m writing, I’m crying from within, remembering all these beautiful memories. Upon my request, he did try to move beyond friendship with me, but then said it was too much for him.
Fast forward to now, I have watched most seasons of Selling Sunset, after which I watched the first season of Housewives of Beverly Hills. Bear with me as I express surprise at the barrage of misogyny that they were. Confused as to why we were documenting and consuming these specific people’s lives on-screen, I looked up the early cast of Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Far from gay pride parades, conventions and heated debates on Twitter, most Indian communities have their own way of dealing with queer individuals. In certain parts, covert honour killings and conversion therapies are organized such that the only way for a young queer to survive is to run away in the cover of the night to a metropolis, many a time with no financial or social support.
You just smile at your father when
He does something kind
And say, “Papa I want a man
Who is as caring as you!”
This heteronormative gaze allows the straight account to take the centerstage at all times. Any marginalized narrative—in particular, the stories of and by trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people—remains on the periphery. A queer story’s literary merit, economic viability, readership, and cultural value, are all decided by the barometer of the successes of established ‘straight’ narratives. It is expected to be calibrated as a response to this overculture.
When I kissed her, she didn’t feel any different? It didn’t feel like I was kissing a girl, not a boy.
A spate of petitions have drenched the halls of various Higher Courts of our country. They carry within them hope for change, but also elicit other peculiar emotions within. This portentous event promises a plethora of possibilities, but not all of them seem good. If parts of the community do get the right to marry, what then? There’s relief, but there’s also fear.
I wish I could be as bold as you,
Scream as coherently as you,
But all I have is a wave of volcanic anger
Trapped in the closet of my heart.
After a lot of research and self-exploration, I finally accepted myself the way I am and that was the day the real battle started. I had to face a lot of questions regarding my appearance from my so-called relatives and neighbors.
Cages of patriarchy
Bias, gender norms of society,
The institutionalised oppression
Of our challenging beauty.
Yes, I will always be a bisexual
Like you will always be heterosexual
In that you won’t act out on your attraction
Towards another woman
And will respect us
For as long as we both shall live
In the past 4 years, I have been able to accept myself and be proud about my sexuality all because of the safety I was feeling however I was beginning to feel less and less safe as I saw the political events unfold around me.
I hope and pray that its audiences are only watching it for mindless escapism rather than admiration.
i want the aesthetic of your femme presentation
i want your top vs. bottom
i want your queer vs. woman
Queer friendships are hard to come by in Pakistan, and the reason for that is no secret. We, Pakistani Queers, exist in secrecy entirely. We’re underground.
What brings us together can’t be the same as what hurts us; we cannot be romanticize and bond over our own oppression without making it central to our identities.