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

media

A photograph of two yellow flowers blooming amid grass. Dark green leaves are emerging from behind the flowers' petals.

Editorial: Representation and Sexuality

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.
Abstract art, coloured in shades of olive green, black, peach, pink, yellow, orange, and purple. It appears to show two silhouettes, to the left are distinct parts of a woman's face and to the right a darker silhouette looking at these parts.

Media and the Power of Responsible Representation

It is the winter of 2013, and my father and I are sitting at an awkward distance from each other on the living room couch, our eyes trained on the television set as a popular prime time news debate discusses a subject we have never before talked to each other about – homosexuality. It is…
A photograph of an individual with a book. Their face is not visible. They are flipping through a seemingly old book, and are turning the page using two fingers. They are wearing a cream top with a brown scarf and a ring on their finger.

Finding Feminism

As I began to read about feminist methodology in academic research, it felt like I finally found words to articulate my experience. Feminist methodology addresses problems in traditional forms of scientific and social research, such as giving high regard to objectivity and rationality, and the power equation in the researcher-subject relationship.
A still from the film 'A Kid Like Jake'. In a city-background with houses to the right and a car to the left, three figures: a blonde woman wearing a black and white striped t-shirt, blue jeans, and a beige coat, carrying a brown bag on her shoulder is holding a child's hand from the left. The child is wearing a purple, glittery tutu and a blue shirt. Their arms are outstretched and on the right side, held by a man wearing a peach shirt, blue hoodie and blue jeans. He has black hair. Both the man and the woman are looking at the child.

Review: I see you

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.
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.
A screenshot from Robot Hugs' comic. The background is purple and has a figure wearing a darker purple shirt and grey pants. Their hair is green and they are looking curiously and confusedly at the illustration of the female reproductive system to their left. The figure of the reproductive system is coloured in light and dark shades of pink and has a black question mark in the middle. The text, to the right of the figure, says "But I am already whole and complete, and I am not full of empty spaces."

Brushstrokes: Dear Sex-Ed Textbook

Robot Hugs gives us a glimpse into the doubts and confusions they grappled with while growing up, and unravels the tightly wound preconceptions in culture influenced by, and at the same time, influencing scientific and medical imagination.
An illustration of three women against a blue background with bubbles in white. The three women are looking in different directions and close together. The front-most woman has long purple hair and is wearing a black top. Her face is turned towards the left. The woman behind her has short yellow-blonde hair and her eyes are not visible. She is wearing a black top too. The woman behind both is staring into the camera and has purple eyeshadow. She has short copper hair. On the right-most corner, in white letters, is written "(gaysi)"

The Legend Of The Invisible Lesbians

Of course, one needs to acknowledge that this word did not magically turn up in the vocabularies of the ‘good girls from good families’ that came to a convent school to learn ‘good things’ everyday. The extensively gendered environment which promised to manufacture highly-marriageable ‘young ladies’, aided by the insistence of middle-aged spiteful teachers to absolutely destroy any kind of existence that does not constantly bow it’s pretty, two-plaited head to the heteronormative male gaze, created a suffocatingly toxic atmosphere.
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.
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