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For and about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered S. Asians

Organizations Literature Cinema Who's Who News Links


Gay/Lesbian SA Literature


Films by khush SA women or relating to the SA khush experience.
Hima B.
Straight for the Money: Interviews with Queer Sex Workers. A documentary exploring the lives of marginalized people -- lesbian sex workers in the sex industry.

Nisha Ganatra says: "The inspiration for making Junky Punky Girlz was the isolation that I was feeling being in a space between two cultures."
Junky Punky Girlz is a 12-minute humourous film about an Indian-American girl in New York's East Village who goes to get her nose pierced. The film was awarded the Outstanding Short Film of the Year from PBS, and was the Film/Video winner of Gay Pride Episode 1997. A loaner copy may be available: send email to
Drown Soda, deals with the life of a young girl, whose parents get divorced. Her father is Indian, mother is American. The mother has custody of their two children, and the father's interaction with his daughter is limited to a few arranged meetings, making it a traumatic experience for both. The film goes on to show the father and daughter rebuild their relationship.
Chutney Popcorn takes a light-hearted look at the subject of assimilation and tradition through the experiences of an Indian Family living in the US. The film stars, among others, Madhur and Sakina Jaffrey.

Vismita Gupta-Smith
For Straights Only. explores life for South Asian gays and lesbians. Told from the perspective of a straight sister about her gay brother, the film includes conversations with many South Asian gays and lesbians. These conversations focus on issues like - growing up in a homophobic culture, coming out and the gay movement in South Asia. 20 min. For purchase, contact

Suniti Namjoshi
Flesh and Paper. A 26-minute film in which lesbian writer Namjoshi and others discuss her life and work, with readings of her poetry. Born into an Indian royal family, She now resides in England. Her poems, fables, and novels are characterized by her wry and satirical humor, informed by both a lesbian consciousness and a deep Indian cultural framework.

Deepa Mehta
Fire. Stars Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. Set in Contemporary India, Fire is a bold and compelling story of two sisters-in-law who break the bonds of obedience and tradition to start a new life together. [Sawnet reviews and newsclips].

Pratibha Parmar
Warrior Marks, 1993. A film with Alice Walker exploring the controversial reality of female genital mutilation in Asia and Africa. [Sawnet reviews & newsclips]
Memsahib Rita. "Shanti's face is brown and painfully Indian, even though her mother was a beautiful white woman. Can Shanti survive in London's East End, with the ugliness of racism around her and the bitter memories of a mother who committed suicide, unable to take the pressures of an interracial marriages In this unusual fictional short, studded with fantasy and magical realism, there are some surprising answers."
Sari Red.
Khush. [Sawnet review].
Memory Pictures. 1989.
Flesh and Paper. 1990.
The Colour of Britain (1994, 58 mins) looks at the work of renowned South Asian artists who are at the forefront of redefining British culture. Available from NAATA A Place of Rage. 1991 [Sawnet review]
Pratibha Parmar's films are available from Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY. (212) 925-0606. email:

Ligy J. Pullappally
The Journey. Kiran is mortified by her growing lesbian desire for the effervescent Delilah, in an idyllic Indian village where arranged marriage is the only acceptable form of coupling. Available from Wolfe Video.
Nidhi Singh
Khush Refugees. Rahul, an immigrant from India, and Dante, an ex-marine from suburban Ohio, try to assimilate into San Francisco's gay culture only to find that in a community of exiles, one is always a refugee. Singh has created a sensitive docu-drama that captures two individual coming-of-age stories intertwined with mutual experiences as "outsiders." Available from NAATA
Bolo Bolo
Focusing on the South Asian community of Toronto, this video is a constructive tool for facilitators, educators, community workers and anyone interested in organizing around issues of health, sexuality and cultural identity. The response of the diasporic South Asian communities to the AIDS crisis is documented through interviews, information and a weaving of images. At the core of the film are the testimonials of artists and activists-gay, lesbian and straight-who talk about the barriers and successes of organizing around AIDS. Available from NAATA

Girlfriend, directed by Karan Razdan, 2004. A Bollywood film with a love triangle and a brief erotic scene between two women.

Who's Who


[See also the full News page and Articles page]


-- A legal issues page from Gay Bombay, which discusses the legal issues relating to homosexuality in India.
-- Desh Pardesh is a nonprofit arts/cultural commmunity-based Toronto organization bringing together SA communities in the West. Their main event is an annual festival & conference about diasporic South Asian arts, culture, and politics in Toronto. It is lesbian, gay, and bisexual positive, feminist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and anti-caste/classist. 96 Spadina Ave #607, Toronto, ON M5V 2J6, Canada. (416) 504-9932, fax (416) 504-9973, Email:
-- Counsellors, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health professionals who are culture-sensitive and sympathetic to g/l/b issues. Compiled by Trikone-Tejas.
-- India Gay Resource is an extensive listing of resources for gay South Asians. Includes regional information, organizations, overseas sites, online clubs, and travel.

Last updated 13 November 2014

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