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

Section 377

A key hanging off blue thread draped around a branch

Editorial: Law and Sexuality

In our mid-month issue, Stuti Tripathi considers whether raising the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21years is indeed a one-stop solution to check early marriages. She brings to our attention the many factors, such as family pressure, inaccessible educational and financial resources, traditionally defined roles of women, and gender-based marginalisation that together lead to early marriages and argues that young people need rights not protection.
An image of a wallpaper with stickers that says “Love Wins”, “Love is love” “Love is a Human Right” and “Support Love”. There are six thin lines in the form of a rainbow with pride colours

Queer Women and Law: Desire and Betrayal

Law is often violent – it incarcerates, shames our so-called deviance, and classifies who is worthy and not worthy of gaining access to rights and what kind of rights can be ceded at a particular moment. Yet, we believe we can change the law, make it sensitive to our existence
poster that says, 'just had my first legal sex'

इच्छाओं की विरोधी, इच्छाएँ

वापस फिर एक बार, पोस्टर पर लिखी गयी घोषणा पर लौटते हुए - पहली बार ‘कानूनन’ सेक्स कर पाने के अपने अनुभव को ज़ाहिर करने की इस घोषणा में एक बहुत ही शक्तिशाली सांकेतिक संदेश निहित है जो हमें सेक्स में ज़्यादा चरम आनंद लेने में भले ही मदद न करे लेकिन मुक्ति के चिन्ह हमेशा धनी लोगों द्वारा किए जा रहे दिखावे की तरह नहीं होते, उनमें एक प्रभावी संदेश निहित होता है।
book cover for the bopok 'sexualness' by akshay khanna

Book Review: ‘Sexualness’ by akshay khanna

akshay khanna, who is a social anthropologist and a political activist, weaves the narrative of how the Queer body came to be included into juridical registers of the State as a citizen-subject. The book is divided into six parts starting with an Introduction. The tone of the book is already set before the introduction to the contents, when it starts with the lines of the historic poem “Hum Dekhenge” written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in 1979. The book is based on multi-sited doctoral fieldwork carried out by akshay between October 2005 and February 2007. The introduction starts with a discussion around India’s modernity, sexuality and ‘sexualness’, moving on to talk about men holding hands in India, and the curiosity with which it is viewed by Europeans and North Americans...
Still from "Fire", showing two women standing together intimately, smiles on their faces

Let’s Talk About 377 | Popular Culture is Changing How India Views Homosexuality

When Deepa Mehta’s Fire came out in 1996, violent protests roiled India over the depiction of romance between two female leads. There is no homosexuality in India, demonstrators declared while burning effigies in the Capital. In contrast, when Margarita With A Straw came out in 2014, it received accolades for its sensitive portrayal of queer desire in a woman with disability.
Picture of a woman's mouth, with her lips and tongue painted in rainbow colours

Issue in Focus – Desire and Sexuality

Any desire, not necessarily or narrowly sexual, but perhaps related to sexuality, such as independence, equality, gender role-bending, controlling your own finances, eating the food you’d like to eat as opposed to the food your spouse desires, wearing the clothes you’d like to wear, birth control, choosing to have or not to have children … any of these desires would have only that importance that the individual concerned is able to apportion to it.
illustration of a distorted face, painted in pinks and yellows

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 only a few days since Section 377 has been reinstated by the Supreme Court, and the television and print media bombards us with discussion after discussion on ‘alternate’ sexualities and LGBTQ rights.
A photo of Anjali Gopalan, who has short black and gray hair and dark eyes. Anjali is smiling, wearing a light pink dupatta. Source: Naz Foundation

INTERVIEW: ANJALI GOPALAN

In October 2013, Anisha Dutt from TARSHI interviewed Anjali Gopalan, Founder and Executive Director of The Naz Foundation (India) Trust, an NGO dedicated to the fight against the HIV and AIDS epidemic in India, for the inaugural issue of the blog. During our interaction with her, she shared with us some of the challenges she…
an abstract painting of various shades of green and blue

Poems

Girl, when you blow your boy, or boy, when you go down on her, or when both of you use a toy, and all the world's a blur, I know it feels like heaven, you too violate 377.   Moments before she died (December, 2012) It is the night of foreboding her skin is again…

Desire Against Desire

Post the historic Naz Foundation judgment of the Delhi High Court in July 2009, a prominent English news magazine carried a photograph my friend and activist Anindya Hajra celebrating the decision carrying a placard which read: ‘Just had my first legal sex.’ Needless to say, the placard was being displayed with specific regard to a…
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