Companions take many forms. Using the word very loosely here, a companion is anyone the self is connected to, anywhere, at any point in time, from a family member, to a stranger on a train.
If we are to reimagine coupledom and sexuality, we need to expand and challenge our ideas about togetherness, romance, love, intimacy, desire, sex, attachment, and so on.
Practicing polyamory comes with the struggle of breaking down value systems and non-acceptance that may lead to ostracism not only from the heterosexual world but also from the queer and trans community. Claiming oneself as queer depends not only on how one identifies, but also, in society’s eyes, on who one’s partner is; being single does not qualify and neither does being polyamorous as the latter is considered ‘non-serious’.
There may already be another organisation in the community to share resources with but for community-led initiatives, a shared perspective on Safe, Inclusive, Sexuality-Affirming (SISA) spaces is also important. Sometimes when the shared perspective is not there, that becomes a challenge.
What does it mean to hold space and extend compassion to ourselves and our communities? Rachel Cargle reminds us to ask ourselves: who would we be if we weren’t trying to survive? Similarly, what would care and vulnerability look like if we weren’t trying to survive? The anarchy of queerness constantly and necessarily resists the capitalist engineering of the Survival Myth: one that wants us to endure an isolated life instead of embracing it with the radically transformative joy of togetherness. Caring for yourself precedes, succeeds, and exists alongside caring for the collective.
In a country like India where both mental health and non-binary identities are topics that are neglected despite being essential parts of an individual’s identity, it can be quite challenging to navigate through issues regarding the same. Accessibility to affordable and quality mental health services is a serious difficulty that the queer Indian population faces.
We are, all of us, trying to hold steady, and to hold space for each other and for ourselves. And so, instead of trying to put together a collection of ‘all new’ articles, this time we are republishing some ‘ever fresh’ ones on the theme of Sexuality and Representation.
The lip colour then enters into a rather queer state of existence as it refuses to stand by the label it is expected to conform to. It moves and escapes categorisation. In its queerness, it renders itself as a paradox. At the heart of paradoxes is the understanding that something is what it is also not. Similarly, the colour of this lipstick is nude, but it is also not. It is possible that it is because of this slippery nature of the paradox that my sexuality as my identity too remains slippery, in motion and fluid.
My friend’s son, too, likes wearing tutus and frilly skirts. Every time they go shopping for clothes, he heads to the girl’s section and picks out the frilliest outfit. At check out, invariably the cashier asks if the pretty outfit is for his sister and he confidently says it is for him. Often he wears these outfits to school. His confidence comes from his mother’s acceptance of him and her understanding of his gender expansiveness. It helps that she is a sociologist, but there is a constant pushback from society including from his peers at school who bully the little boy. But it is the constant support from his mother and family that allows him to remain confident and thrive whilst being different.
I long for much more than a greater representation of brown women. I long for a complete overhaul of the racial, gendered, and economic systems that structure our suffering.
But I also long for representation of all people, including brown women, who are in love, who are loveable, and who are — in the absence of love — lonely.
Indian families rarely say “I love you” to each other. Maybe it is an extension of the fact that parents are awkward while displaying any sign of affection to each other around their kids or elders.
We are often told to speak to ourselves as we would to a friend, gently and lovingly. At the heart of friendship is vulnerability – a radical acceptance of oneself and another for who we truly are, the glowing and beautiful, as well as the dark and crooked.
The only hitch was that neither the agents nor the landlords who lurked behind those rentable flats were particularly keen on leasing their precious properties to a – what! Divorcee??!! No, no, madam, but this flat is only for families.
By and large, society expects a woman to marry. Often people in one’s circle judge a woman if she doesn’t marry, inquiring about what could be wrong but most never assuming that it could be out of choice