A digital magazine on sexuality, based 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

school

An abstract photo of blurred blue and white vertical lines that are spanning outwards

Editorial – Movement and Sexuality

This issue of In Plainspeak while inviting us to embrace the joys and pleasure in movement, also questions the ways in which movements are facilitated or obstructed, visibilised or invisibilised, and the spaces that we must envision to find freedom in/to movement.
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.
Photo of an empty classroom. Chairs, desks, teacher's table and a clean blackboard are visible.

Who’re You Kidding?

What exactly does being ‘comfortable with your sexuality’ mean? From a young age, all children, especially girls, are taught about specific ‘values’, and how we all need to behave in a certain manner or else we’re being ‘inappropriate’. However, I think the term ‘inappropriate’ simply means, “You should be ashamed of your body and should only think about concealing yourself”. And then our teachers and elders and others around us expect us to be automatically comfortable with our sexuality and with how we look, all the while trying to control us and impose their ideas on us.
Painting of crows attacking red-coloured grass.

Bandar Aur Insaan Reloaded

Last year, I received a research fellowship from the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS) and the Ford Foundation. Through this fellowship, I conducted a yearlong qualitative study of the experiences of queer students during their school life in India. The word ‘queer’ as you may know, includes but is…
एक लड़की के चेहरे की तस्वीर है। लड़की का रंग गेंहुआ है, नाक में नथनी पहनी है, बिंदी लगायी है, आँखों में काजल, कानो में झुमके और बाल थोड़े बिखरे हुए है और कुछ चेहरे पर आ रहे है |

Silencing love: Negotiating Sexuality In School Life

My experience of school, as I remember it, was quite conflicted. As a child I lacked the vocabulary to describe my experience and perhaps enjoyed school life to an extent. But as I reflect on my experiences now, the everyday violence that is inflicted by teachers and students in the garb of the greater good…
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