For and about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered S. Asians
SAGrrls is a mailing list for, by and about South Asian lesbians and bisexual
women. The purpose of the list is to create a safe space to share thoughts,
feelings, and ideas and to establish a network for individuals to exchange
information. At the current time, this mailing list is OPEN ONLY to any
LESBIAN or BISEXUAL WOMAN who self-identifies in part or whole as a South
Asian or who has some significant familial South Asian heritage.
All subscription requests are verified. Subscribe by sending email to
Contact the list owner at email@example.com.
- Desidykes is a
mailing list for South Asian lesbian, bisexual and transgendered women. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
unmoderated mailing list for gay, lesbian, bisexual
South Asians and their friends. The purpose of the list is to discuss
Asian gay culture/experiences/issues, as well as form a social and
network. For more information, send email to
is a mailing list for lesbians and bisexual women resident within
India. Non-resident lesbians of Indian origin are also welcome so long
as the discourse has relevance for Indian lesbians. To subscribe, send
email to email@example.com.
is a mailing list for gay, lesbian, bisexual,
and transgender Muslims.
(Indian-people-like-us) is a socio-political mailing list for Indian
gays and lesbians in Singapore/Malaysia.
- Pakistani Dykes is a mailing list where Pakistani lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and
questioning women can find a safe space to deal with coming out and
sexuality issues, and express ideas, thoughts and opinions. The list
also aims to facilitate the creation of a network for individuals to
make friends, find contacts and exchange information. All topics
related to issues affecting the lives of Pakistani lesbian, bisexual and transgendered women may be discussed. The list is open to all lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and
questioning women of Pakistani origin, either living in Pakistan or
elsewhere. To subscribe: send email to
- Sri Lankan
Gay Friends is an online support network of for gay, lesbian and
bisexual Sri Lankans.
- DesiQinSoCal is a list for LGBT folks resident in Southern
California. To subscribe, send email to DesiQinSoCalfirstname.lastname@example.org.
- Women of Trikone is a list-serve for queer women of South Asian descent from the San Francisco Bay Area interested in building a strong community, engaging in discussions, networking, sharing news and advertising events. Allies who identify as women are welcome as well.
- Shamakami is the (world's oldest surviving)
international journal and network of South Asian feminist lesbians
bisexual women. Submissions from women of South Asian descent,
in the world, are welcome. Subscriptions are US $15/year, $10 for a
set of back issues, $2 individual issues. Contact:
Shamakami, P.O. Box 1006, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.
Tel: (301) 681-0109, Fax: (301) 681-0115
- The Humsafar Trust in Mumbai
is a male sexual health agency that runs a clinic, help lines, and
system for male sexual minorities.
- Saheli, a support network for
Lesbian/Bi/TranMTF of South Asian descent in Sydney.
Contact Poonam: (02)9832 7707(home)
Uma: ph:(02)9559 4486(home) (02)9514 3660(work)
- Of Colour: Lesbians and Gay men:
201-223 12th Ave SW, Calgary Alberta T2R 0G9, Canada.
- The L Lounge is a safe, social, networking space for Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and LBT friendly persons. We organise parties, meets, brunches, movie screenings and other events in Mumbai for LBT women and friends.
- Sangini: a lesbian support project. Provides information,
counseling, support, help and advice for lesbians and women
exploring their sexuality. Calls from friends, family, partners and
other organizations are welcomed. Help line, Tuesday 6 - 8 pm:
(011) 6859113 or 6851970/71. Weekly meetings on Saturdays, 3 - 6 pm,
are open only to lesbians and women exploring their sexuality.
Address: Sangini, c/o Naz Foundation (India) Trust, PO Box 3910,
Andrews Gunj, New Delhi 100049.
- Sisters, for polycultural lesbians.
P.O. Box 26, Tambaram, Madras 600 059
- Trikone (tri as in
kone as in cone, Sanskrit for triangle) is a non-profit group for
gay South Asians, operating out of the Bay Area of California. Their
web site includes a resource directory and a magazine. They have
several branches around the US.
Khuli Zaban is an organization of and for South Asian
and bisexual women in the Chicago/Illinois/Ohio/Michigan/Indiana
areas. The focuses of the group are sharing resources such as books,
magazines and newsletters, networking, socializing, breaking the
isolation, and coalition-building projects with other groups.
Voice mail: 312-409-2753 E-mail:
- The South Asian Lesbian and Gay
Association (SALGA) is a group for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals,
transgendered people who trace their descent from countries such as
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri
and Tibet as well as people of South Asian descent from countries such
Guyana, Trinidad, and Kenya. Our monthly meetings are held on the
Saturday of each month from 3:30 to 5:30pm at the Lesbian and Gay
Community Center: 1 Little West 12th St. Monthly meetings are open to
South Asians only. All are welcome at social events.
Address: P.O. Box 1491 Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113.
Phone: (212) 358-5132 Email: email@example.com
-- South Asian Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals of Montreal.
- Khush Texas, Texas. A safe and supportive network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered South Asians who live in Texas. The goal is to get to know eachother and provide a forum to discuss our lives as queer South Asians. Ultimately we hope this will grow into a
fully-fledged organization with its own website, message board, events, and resources to give us a place to call our own in Texas.
- TrikoneTejas: a
progressive coalition of queer and straight students of Asian
heritage at UT Austin. Their web site has an extensive list of
- Satrang (formerly TrikoneLA) is a social, political, cultural and support organization providing a safe space to empower South Asian LGBTIQs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning) in Southern California. Through education, networking and outreach we are committed to creating awareness and acceptance of queer/alternative sexualities and gender orientations.
a political and social resource for queer South Asians
in the Pacific Northwest. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of gay-related
organizations in India, at Khushnet.
S. Asian gay-related
organizations in other countries, at Khushnet.
Gay/Lesbian SA Literature
- Because I have a Voice: Queer Politics in India. by Arvind Narrain and Gautam Bhan. Yoda Press, Delhi, 2006.
- Bombay Talkie, by Ameena Meer. An Indian-American
21-year-old, Sabah, travels to India. Family saga of three generations
of rich Indians who try to find stability and roots as they lurch from
crisis to crisis in Bombay, London and New York. One of the main
characters and some minor ones are gay.
Blooms at Night.
Pressgang Publishers, Canada, 1996. Set on the
fictional island of Lantanacamara, Cereus Blooms at Night takes its
title from a rare, night flowering cactus whose scent can
transport you to ecstatic realms. The story of Mala, an
eccentric and reclusive old woman, is told by her gay nurse, Tyler.
pieces together fragments of Mala's life, unforgettable characters
world and change it forever. Part magic realism, part psychological
drama, this haunting novel explores a world where love and treachery
Cinnamon Gardens: Shyam Selvadurai. Harcourt
- The crooked line : Terhi lakir.
Ismat Chugtai Translated from Urdu by
Tahira Naqvi. Asian Writers series, Oxford, England.
- Facing the Mirror: Lesbian Writing From Indi ed. Ashwini
Sukthanker. Penguin India, 1999.
- Feminist Fables.
Terse, witty, lesbian fables. Spinifex,
Funny Boy. Shyam Selvadurai. Harvest Books,
1997. A coming-of-age story set in a privileged family in Sri Lanka,
paralleled by growing ethnic tension.
- The Golden Gate. Vikram Seth's wonderful novel
written entirely in sonnet form. It's not about South Asians at all,
but has a gay (bi) relationship.
- The heart breaks free & The wild one.
Translated from Urdu
by Tahira Naqvi. Kali for Women, New Delhi, 1993.
The Invisibles : a tale of the eunuchs
Zia Jaffrey. Pantheon Books, New York, 1996.
Zia Jaffrey, daughter of the well-known Indian food writer Madhur
Jaffrey and heir to a hybrid
Indian-American culture, found herself fascinated on a visit to India
by a separate and
extraordinary caste--the hijras, or eunuchs, castrati who dress as
women and live together.
Empathizing with their sense of otherness, she pursued the story of
their semi-secret existence.
The hijras have a long tradition in India, yet are regarded with
great ambiguity. On the one hand
they are invited to attend weddings and births, thought to bring good
luck despite their crude
behavior, bawdy jokes and bad singing. On the other hand there is
much fearful speculation as to
how they perpetuate their caste--some allege the abduction and
castration of little boys. Jaffrey
sensitively investigates these mysteries.
The book and Ms
Jaffrey's own web site.
from India Darshan
- Junglee Girl
Aunt Lute Books,P.O. Box 41067, San
Francisco, Calif. 94141. 1995. Review from
- My Beautiful Laundrette and other stories by Hanif
Kureshi. A classic gay coming-of-age book, made into an excellent
film. Set in Britain among the Indian community.
- A Lotus of Another Color: An Unfolding of the South Asian Gay
Experience, edited by Rakesh Ratti. 1993. Alyson
- Love in a different climate: men who have sex with
men in India. By Jeremy Seabrook Verso, 1999.
- Love and Longing in Bombay. By Vikram Chandra. A
collection of short stories, one featuring a gay relationship.
- Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Underprivileged India. By Maya Sharma. Yoda Press, 2006. Documents the life-stories of ten working-class queer women living in north India.
- Madras on Rainy Days, by Samina Ali. [Sawnet review]
A debut novel written in the voice of a gay white man in Manhattan. [Sawnet review]
- Myself Mona Ahmed, by Mona Ahmed & Dayanita Singh.
Scalo, 2002. [Review
- Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India.
Serena Nanda. Wadsworth Pub Co, 1998.
- Ode to Lata Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla. A
novel about a diasporic Indian searching for love in the bleak streets
of LA. [Sawnet review]
on Main Street.
Pressgang Publishers, Canada, 1993.
- Pearls of Passion: A treasury of lesbian erotica.
Edited by C Allyson Lee & Makeda Silvera. Women of Color Press,
- Piece of my Heart. A Lesbian of Colour Anthology.
Edited by Makeda Silvera. Sister Vision Press, 1992.
- Queer Looks Pratibha Parmar, John Greyson, Martha
Gever. Routledge, 1993.
- Quilt and other stories (Lihaaf) .
Ismat Chugtai Translated by Tahira
Naqvi. 1990. Kali for Women, New Delhi. Lihaaf, originally published
in 1945, has stirred controversy through the ages for its portrayal of
a relationship between two women.
- Sakhiyani: Lesbian Desire in Ancient
and Modern India.. Giti Thadani London: Cassell, 1996.
- Same Sex Love in India: Readings from Indian history and
literature by Ruth Vanita and
Saleem Kidwai. St. Martin's Press, New York.
Writings on same-sex love from over 2000 years
of Indian literature.
Translated from more than a dozen languages and drawn from Hindu,
Buddhist, Muslim, and modern fictional traditions.
from Asian Age Online]
- Sappho and the Virgin Mary: Same-sex Love and the
English Literary Imagination. By Ruth
Vanita. Columbia University Press, 1996.
- Sex, Longing and not Belonging: A Gay Muslim's Quest for
Love & Meaning. Badruddin Khan. Floating Lotus, 1997. A
deeply personal look at the life and love of men in
two worlds-Pakistan and North America, offering insightful material on
Islam and homosexuality.
- Shiva and Arun. P Parivaraj. In the south Indian
town of Chitana, two
boys discover early on the pleasures of gay sex. Shiva's family
are upper-caste Brahmins; his father is the temple pujari, a
wealthy hereditary priest. Shiva plans to break away from
home and tradition, but finds his life in turmoil when his
marraige is arranged. His school friend Arun faces similar
problems, but struggles to maintain his own identity while
Shiva succumbs to family pressure. Vivid sex and gentle humour spice
this tale of contradictions in the life of India today.
- The Splintered Day: V.K. Mina.
Serpent's Tail, July 1999.
Structurally untraditional, sometimes erotic and
sometimes painfully hip, Mina's first novel is a story
of romantic exhilaration and disaffection among the
youthful tribes of a profoundly multicultural New York
City. [Sawnet review]
on Monsoon mag]
from the New York Times]
- A Suitable Boy. By Vikram Seth. A massive novel
set in India in the 50s, with a vast cast of characters from all
socio-economic groups, religions and lifestyles. Some gay, or more
properly bisexual characters.
- Torn Shapes of Desire: Internet Erotica.
Mary Anne Mohanraj
- Virtual Equality: The mainstreaming of the gay and lesbian civil
movement . Urvashi
Anchor Bks. 1995 Winner of the American Librarian
Association Award for
best non-fiction book in gay and lesbian category. ...chronicles how
gay community has transformed itself from a hidden minority to a
presence in the American mainstream, but at a huge cost....gays enjoy
to power, but no real power.  argues that the gay community has
the limits of "mainstreaming". [The gay community] must
wake up and face
the forces that divide it: the current leadership crisis, the lack of
coherent agenda, the new gay conservaties, the threat of anti-gay
and the gay ghetto.
- What was Always Hers:
Uma Parameswaran. A book of short stories about
Indo-Canadians. One story features a lesbian/bi couple.
- Yaraana: Gay writing from India: edited by Hoshang
Merchant. South Asia Books, 1999.
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."
Punky Girlz is a 12-minute
humourous film about an Indian-American girl in New York's East
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
deals with the life of a young girl, whose parents get divorced. Her
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.
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
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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
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
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
- Flesh and Paper. 1990.
Colour of Britain (1994, 58 mins) looks at the work of renowned
South Asian artists who are at the forefront of redefining British
A Place of Rage. 1991
Pratibha Parmar's films are available from
Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York,
NY. (212) 925-0606. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Girlfriend, directed by Karan Razdan, 2004. A Bollywood film
with a love triangle and a brief erotic scene between two women.
Kashish Chopra, Miss India USA beauty pageant.
, journalist, poet, performance artist. (India, US)
Surina Khan, author
and activist. (Pakistan, US)
Giti Thadani. Author.
Thadani, photographer. (India, US)
Urvashi Vaid, gay
rights activist. (India, USA)
[See also the full News page and
- NRI lesbians sue to
legalize gay marriage in Washington State. Times of India, March 2004.
- Lesbianism still taboo and scary in Nepal. Himalayan Times, 6 Dec 2003.
- Beauty pageant contestant takes pride in her heritageb and sexuality. NY Blade, September 2003.
happy. Raksha Bandhan at GayBombay brings the community together.
Deccan Herald, Saturday, August 16, 2003
out. No more queer pressure, only gay abandon. Indian Express,
July 27, 2003.
Online Gays -- revolution or high-tech closet?. Pacific News Service,
- Indian Gays
step out. Little India, June 2002.
from Mumbai: Devdutt Pattanaik queers Hindu lore. L. Ramki
Ramakrishnan in Trikone, July 2002.
Hijras of Pakistan, a photo essay by Dennis Drenner in Queer.
South Asian Pride. Trikone held a cultural event in the Bay Area.
From Asian week, 5 April 2002.
boosted by voter disillusion. BBC News, 14 Feb 02.
couple hold Hindu wedding in Ambikapur, Chattisgarh. BBC News, May 2001.
lesbians are coming out of the closet in increasing numbers,
says India Today.
activists from Sri Lanka honored in NY by human rights
organization. March 01.
the Terrace, a short story about gay life in Bombay by Dinyar Godrej.
raises its head in Indian women's groups. Tehelka, Mar 01.
Out, Coming Home. Sandip Roy Chowdhury writes about the gay South
Asian diaspora, in India Currents. Sep 00.
members of the Eunuchs party have been elected in Madhya Pradesh.
London Times, Jan 01.
Vaid's speech at the March on Washington, 1993.
life of a short film. Riyad Wadia's account of making the film
BomGay. Includes video clip of the film.
the sudden reveal. Sheela Raval and Anshul Avijit on the emerging
bisexuals in Bombay. India Today.
- A placard
reading 'Indian and lesbian' caught the eye.... Ashwini Sukthankar
writes about her own role in the Indian lesbian community. oneworld.org.
Gender: Trans Liberation and Our Lesbigay Movements. P. Seshadri
and L. Ramakrishnan in Trikone, July 99.
identities, behaviours, and politics. L. Ramakrishnan in Trikone,
out, coming home India Currents article on the current status
of gays and lesbians in South Asian society.
group finally marches in New York's annual Indian parade. Aseem
Chhabra in thinkindia.com, 21 Aug 00.
minorities within minorities. Rediff article abotu DesiQ2000.
Mystery of the Threshold: Ali of Southern India. A documentary
project about the Ali (transvestite/eunuch/transsexual/hermaphrodite)
by Ulrike Niklas in Kolam.
Muslims against same-sex marriages. Times of India, 18 Apr 00.
elected to Madhya Pradesh assembly. Times of India, Feb 00.
Tale of two Countries. John Burbidge discusses immigration issues
faced by same-sex partners from the US and India. Trikone Magazine,
Even in Sydney said to be an affront to Hindus, from India Abroad.
[The original article]
Homosexuality -- myths and reality. Afsan Chowdhury writes
about gays and lesbians in Bangladesh.
Daily Star, 19 Nov 99.
Shadow Citizens. Afsan Chowdhury writes about gays in Bengali
Society. Himal, July 99.
- Dhaka forced to face sex taboos.
A clampdown on homosexuals in Bangladesh. South China Post, 21 Sep 99.
India's modern-day eunuchs. A 20/20 report on the hijra community
in India, by Anderson Cooper, ABC News. See also
an online chat about the show. 14 Oct 99.
by Urvashi Vaid. Trikone magazine archives.
Hajratwala interviews Mary Anne Mohanraj, author of a book
of internet erotica. Trikone magazine archives.
An interview with Giti Thadani.
- Indian lesbians demand
decriminalisation of homosexuality . 10 Aug 99.
- Deepa Mehta's Fire creates controversy
and protests in India -- an ongoing update of newsclips. Dec 98.
new director of Policy Institute, NGLTF -- March 1997.
Out, Loud and Seen. The Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and
Bisexual Women's Movement, Past and Present.
SALGA joins Gay Pride march, New York 1998.
Supporters of 'Fire' protest outside the Indian consulate in NY.
More newsclips about the Fire controversy.
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: email@example.com
Counsellors, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health
professionals who are culture-sensitive and sympathetic to
g/l/b issues. Compiled by
Gay Resource is an extensive listing of resources for gay South
Asians. Includes regional information, organizations, overseas sites,
online clubs, and travel.
Last updated 03 July 2010
Contact us: info-at-sawnet-dot-org