A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

Author: Shikha Aleya

On a peach coloured background, a woman of colour jumping. She is wearing purple ballet shoes and a purple one-piece swimsuit with white-grey patterns scattered on it. Her eyes are wide open and her hands are stretched open on both sides. Her hair is brown and open. She is throwing multi-coloured confetti. Beneath her is a blue circle. In a semicircle to her right is the typography, in purple: Throw kindness around like confetti!

Interview: Kripa Joshi

There have been several recent examples of actors, movies and events being called out because of their lack of representation, like for the Oscars. With social media it is easier to create and distribute diverse art and also to voice the need for diversity. So it needs engagements and awareness in society. Change will happen once enough people demand that change.
A screenshot of an advertisement. It depicts a woman in a red saree with a dark blue blouse. She is wearing necklaces. She is squatting and seemingly washing clothes. Beside her, to the left, is a steel bucket.

Review: What Does Clothing Have to do with Sexuality in the Media?

Attire and sexuality in the common imagination and approach as represented (and also as received) by the mainstream media tell us a lot about prevailing attitudes to both. Advertisements bombard us with all kinds of representations, negative and positive, of human sexuality, sexual expression and desire. In the creation and marketing of attire and fashion, there is a great awareness of sexual buy-in or rejection by the market – that’s us.
On a black background, binary digits are displayed in white, as if on a screen. In the middle is a red heart shape, made from the binary digits.

Interview – #covid19 and conversations online: Listening in

We are plugged in to all kinds of data from a variety of sources, through technology, and even a window view of this space is like stepping into a global COVID control data centre. We are standing up to be counted, to be seen, to do, to contribute, to advocate, to remind, to rectify and restore, to strengthen a growing network of support and response to crisis on a scale we have neither been able to process or measure.
An abstractly painted image with magenta and blue and splashes of red, yellow, and black colour. In the background, two brown-black silhouettes.

Issue in Focus: The Heart of Being

To chase down our own vulnerabilities around sexuality is a short run around the corner, five minutes ago, last night sleeping alone, with a lover, a partner who lost interest, the Insta post that leaves you feeling you’re not good enough for the hug, the kiss, the cuddle and are you perhaps the A of LGBTQIA+?

Interview – Indu Harikumar

I was watching something recently that said it was a bad thing to be vulnerable, but I don’t think it is a bad thing. I do see that there is a certain amount of power in vulnerability, it also needs courage, in my experience.
A photograph of Sharanya Manivannan

Interview: Sharanya Manivannan

If you are true to yourself, and attuned to your emotions and needs, you’ll invariably find that even a core belief (such as: not believing in the institution of marriage) is complicated by what the lived experience of that means (not only discriminatory experiences, but also intimate ones).
Four illustrations on a light blue background of a woman’s silhouette wearing a pink cape in different, traditionally masculine poses.

Prescriptions of Proper

Performance and ‘proper’ go hand in hand because every performance has rules and prescriptions, so you can tell whether it’s a good performance or not, whether it’s skilled or not. Otherwise, it appears, you can’t understand or appreciate performance – or know if you’re doing it right!

Interview – Pavel Sagolsem

Pavel Sagolsem, self-described, is a storyteller, vagabond at heart and queer feminist by practice. Pavel is a founding partner of The Chinky Homo Project, and has worked with Centre for Health and Social Justice, Breakthrough India, and Nazariya: QFRG on diverse issues of sexuality, gender and rights. Ze has also spoken on the intersections of…
On a pink background, a blue gift-wrapped box with a bow

Biscuit tin

I keep on hold the colours and prints to wrap you in gentle delicate flowers or little cartoon lions and boys with fists that say Bam and Super / until I know what lies between your legs the cigar or the smile of consolation if you’re the first
A photograph of co-founder of QueerAbad, Anahita Sarabhai

Interview – Anahita Sarabhai

As a queer person, it’s hard not to think right away of chosen family. A term that has become relatively well-known by now, but not always understood I find. One of the primary support systems I personally, like many queer folx, depend on, are ones that we develop and nurture over time.
A photograph of an open, empty road in the countryside, leading to mountains.

Public Interview on Risk and Sexuality

Risk by itself is not a stigmatised subject, but sexuality is, and has been for generations. This has led to closeting, to shutting the door, on many necessary conversations about the risks to rights that millions of vulnerable individuals and many vulnerable communities live with, across the globe.

विविधता और यौनिकता – कुछ लोगों से बातचीत

इस महीने के इन प्लेनस्पीक के लिए 2 भागों में लिए गए इस इंटरव्यू के लिए शिखा आलेया ने कुछ ऐसे लोगों से बातचीत की जो अपने काम, अपनी कला के माध्यम से लगातार नये मानदंड स्थापित करते रहे हैं और जिन्होंने सामाजिक मान्यताओं और विविधता व यौनिकता के बारे में अपनी समझ और जानकारी…
A photograph of disability rights advocate and activist Amba Salelkar

Interview – Amba Salelkar

But not every issue of discrimination and conflict can go to a court.Say for example, affording privacy to a young adult with disability to understand their body and sexual responses, or enabling them to access accessible sex toys or assistive devices related to sexual pleasure.

Interview – Poornima Sukumar

We advocate the idea of reclaiming spaces in society by creating large wall-mural projects to raise awareness and to create a voice for the community. We are now finding more innovative ways to engage the community to come out in public spaces, also using the Internet and social media, to feel confident, safe and a sense of belonging.
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