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

As part of our preparation for 2015, we asked you what you think of In Plainspeak. More than 50 people took the time to reply and give us some incredibly valuable feedback. Thank you all so much for that.

What stuck out was that most respondents particularly enjoy the Issue in Focus section (nuanced explorations the monthly theme) and the I Column (personal accounts in regard to the theme in question). Articles that were some all-time favourites were, for instance, Bishakha Datta‘s Never Mind the Nipples and Body Image is a Mind Thing; Too Big by Pramada Menon, and the entire Disability and Sexuality edition. Asked what they liked best some simply replied: “All!”

An important point raised was the language used in this e-magazine. Several readers commented that we could write even more In Plainspeak, use even less ‘activist jargon’, to become more open to a wider audience. This was also said about our Hindi section, which could use a bit simpler Hindi. Your feedback showed us that there is a need for articles and ideas on sexuality issues in Hindi, especially since, as one respondent writes, “there’s very limited literature in Hindi on LGBT and feminist issues. The one that is available is very academic in nature and it is difficult to actually work with people on the ground with that sort of academically driven language.”

When it comes to the layout and the structure of In Plainspeak, we received quite diverse comments. Some suggested that we spread the articles over the month, as “the blog in its entirety can feel a bit overwhelming sometimes”. Others asked to turn it into a quarterly online journal instead, more like TARSHI’s in print magazine predecessor of In Plainspeak, published between 2004 and 2009. Quite a few also commented that they wished the web design was simpler; we will definitely look into that and see what we can do to make it even more intuitive and accessible.

Regarding what you would like to see and hear more about in 2015, most respondents mentioned current issues around sexuality as well as more opinion pieces, debates, and more about TARSHI’s work. Several added that they want to hear more about Comprehensive Sexuality Education and the links between education and sexuality in general. Three other popular suggestions were: child sexual abuse, mental health, and more on disability, linked to sexuality. One respondent put it best by saying: “Stuff that others are not talking about enough.” We will try our best to do so!

To close with a comment that touched us and made us smile:

‘A very big thank you for giving me the opportunity to write in your ‘I Column’. It gave me the opportunity to not only pen down the years of suppressed feelings but also share it with so many people. It felt good to see (through the comments) that many people feel the way I do, I’m not the only one! phew! The blog, especially the interviews have given me many things to think about. Thank you and all the best!’

Many thanks again to those who filled out the survey! Do you agree or disagree with what has been said so far? Do you want to add something? Comment below, write us an email at blogeditor@tarshi.net

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