Reveling in Balram’s success leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, especially considering he sacrificed people just like himself in order to accumulate wealth and power. Whether intentionally or not, it’s a story that inevitably celebrates using the master’s own tools and tactics to make one’s own version of the master’s house.
Poetry with a voice is everlasting. So, I reached out to 6 young queer poets from Southeast Asia to ask them what poetry meant to them, and how their words mark their resistance.
The concept of the glass ceiling was introduced to highlight an unacknowledged barrier to professional advancement for both women and minority communities.
Seldom we witness such heart-warming stories of Transgender persons on screen. Amidst the hopelessness, the new jewellery advertisement came as a silver lining, echoing the sentiments of transgender persons. Such trans-visibility on the silver screen is very rare, and this kind of initiative can help start the conversation that is long overdue about the stories of transgender persons.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sex became the forbidden fruit I couldn’t have - not until I was far away from my parents’ watchful eyes at least - but could only seek pleasure in thinking of. In my head, I imagined a hypersexual alter ego of myself, who would appear the day I moved out and could finally live as their true self. I did move out, I did begin to live the way I wanted to, except that this imaginary persona never revealed herself. She didn’t really exist.
Being cognizant of our intimacy needs and how we are comfortable expressing our intimacy can make our relationships smoother. However, along with our needs, we also have privileges associated with our sexuality. Our needs and privilege are constantly intersecting and providing us with a framework that we are living with. Understanding these can provide us with insights of where we draw our strengths.
Sportspersons with marginalized, non-masculine bodies and behaviours are then subject to scrutiny and disrespect, and are undermined. If I had a paisa for each time I have heard, “Why are you throwing like a girl, da?” from male classmates, my wealth would have rivalled that of Ambani's.
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.
In recent years, queerphobes have dismissed the inclusion of transgender youth in athletics as part of their dismissal of trans rights, and therefore, human rights. Transgender student-athletes are likely to feel motivated to play sports the same way as any other participant, but in many states in the US (as in most parts of the world), they are refused the right to do so or can only do so only after meeting multiple intrusive, medicalized requirements, which further ostracization and exclusion.
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.