With the exception of the phrase ‘Yes ma’am’, ‘lesbian’ was probably the most-spoken word in school. It was the first word from the LGBTQ+ acronym that I encountered while growing up. It was used as a slur to end petty arguments on the playground. It was magnified as an insult to make fun of someone displaying affection or care towards a friend.
Like all public spaces, a robust system of accountability and transparency is crucial even within queer circles. Any space that supports abusers, bigots, prejudices of any kind is no safe space at all.
In the final week of February this year, the Aazaadi Foundation inaugurated the ‘Library of Hope’ for sex workers and their children in Lucknow. Decorated all over with hand painted banners focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals put forth by the United Nations, the library teems over with books donated not only by Lucknowites, but by people from all over the country.
Towards the end of 2020, my partner Sugith and I decided to get into a civil partnership and I wanted my parents to be in the UK to experience the ceremony. After all, as their son I love them, and I had to believe they love me too. They arrived in the UK on 8th December, 2020. My parents made a point to say that they would be visiting the UK for my happiness, as long as I did not tell anyone about my sexuality and what I was doing, apart from my friends in the UK.
Ghaywan’s film Geeli Pucchi catches you off-guard as you emerge, a little disoriented, from the first two films in this anthology, making it a little difficult to comment on it in isolation, with any amount of objectivity or distance, and it stands out particularly starkly in this otherwise abominable line-up.
Best Friend set me up with Dude 6. We worked in the same field and liked the same things. Dude 6 said looking at me was like looking into a mirror. He can dream, I guess!
The writers of Disenchantment have been hinting at Bean being queer since the second season, but it is in the episode titled ‘The Last Splash’ that we get to see her experience a genuine connection with another character. So far, Bean’s life has been about casual encounters and last-minute hook-ups, but this episode gives her an actual romantic arc without making it sappy or pretending that ‘this was what was missing all along’.
So, I turned to an artform, a science, a philosophy to help me understand the language of people who won’t explain themselves to me. Obviously, I turned to astrology. Jokes apart, alongside my aro-ace peers, astrology introduced me to a new language to name different parts of the self.
A voice in my head said: It’s a review; tell what you’ve read. Ask them to buy this book if you liked it, or ask them to stay away from it. The other one said, inspired by Joan Didion: If you’re not sure about this paragraph, place it in the middle; no one will notice it. Who knows what people do and do not notice, anyway?
The government's stubborn adherence to the gender binary is befuddling (to say the least), but is quite aligned with its larger brand of transphobic legislations. However, its appeal raises another question as to why it has not created a separate wing for trans-folx when it was directed to do so by a Supreme Court verdict in 2014?
Thanks to IG Reels, India’s dispersed queer community is able to continue to connect and show love through digital, pink hearts - algorithm be damned. Queers are wearing their hearts - and their full lives - on their screens, using what they feel inside as a medium to express their look (and outlook) on any given day.
This move reminds us of the defence recently given by the Indian National government to the Delhi HC against legalizing queer marriages in India.
Thus far, the London Patient and the Berlin Patient have given hope to researchers, clinicians and people with HIV that stem-cell transplants could be a potential method to eradicate HIV. Ravindra Kumar Gupta, Ph.D., - a professor at the University of Cambridge and a lead author on the case study of the research findings around the London Patient - is cautiously optimistic though, stating that such treatment should be a “last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening hematological malignancies”.
Short films are an efficacious medium for filmmakers to present their worldview with a smaller budget and compact storylines. To young filmmakers, they are an opportunity to learn and develop their style. It gives them creative freedom, which is often compromised in commercial films.
Kirpal, an out gay man, who played an instrumental role in getting Section 377 scrapped, if appointed, would become “India’s first openly gay judge,” the Indian Express reports. But he laments whether “this (non-elevation) has probably got to do with my sexuality.”
The novel is a coming-of-age story which explores their sexual awakening. Ari and Dante incidentally meet at the swimming pool and become friends as Dante teaches Ari how to swim. The two are poles apart but find a middle ground for their bond to grow further.
The establishment of the Gay Games (also referred to as the ‘Gay Olympics’) in 1982 was a response to decades of marginalisation of the LGBTQ+ community within sports. In an inspiring act of defiance and liberation, athlete Tom Wadell, who was gay himself, came up with the idea of the Gay Olympics that would be held every four years, similar to the modern Olympic Games.
Each episode is titled after pioneering works of feminist literature. Episode three, ‘The Colour Purple’, is particularly interesting because a direct connection is made to the theme of abuse from Alice Walker’s renowned book.
Sulagna had only dated men when she lived in Mumbai. For most of this time, she hardly knew there were other options. But once she met Kshama, things changed.
The story-telling arc of the song resonates with the idea of “catharsis” in literature, both, as the layman understands it, as well as in terms of the understanding Aristotle seemed to have.