Gay sex is against the law in India, but an online zine that also hosts events for LGBTQI people has become a pioneering force for change
The latest issue of the Gaysi zine sports a simple but striking cover in dark colours: a scattered collage of human forms, with the words All That We Want across it. Thumb through the magazine and you will find pieces of fiction, photo-essays, personal narratives, illustrations andhow-to guides on the theme of sexual desire, from A Quick Guide to Scissoring to evocative verse on Love in the Age of Surveillance.
It is the sort of content that would not seem out of place in a gay zine published in Europe or the US, but in India it is positively subversive and the first of its kind.
Gaysi a portmanteau of the words gay and desi (desi is Hindi slang for south Asian) first appeared as a blog almost 10 years ago. It has since developed a zine that retails at major bookshops across the country, hosts open mic events, book clubs and, most recently, Indias first drag king show. We needed stories we could all relateto, and we needed an honest documentation of the lived realities ofdesi queer folks, founder Sakshi Juneja explains.