This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)
Felix has been proudly associated with the Orinam/MP collective since 2005, and has watched it grow from an online list and support space to what it is today. A techie by profession, he is one of the editors of this website, and is in love with the Chennai International Queer Film Festival. He helps organise through Orinam in association with others.
kinsey3 (L Ramakrishnan) works with a public health non-profit SAATHII, and volunteers with the editorial team of Orinam.
Shri believes that the keyboard is mightier than the sword and that Internet activism is his calling. As a writer, Shri writes in the hope of effecting change. He blogs at Orinam.net and writes Tamil fiction in Thendral and Thinnai magazines. His latest work is part of Queer-Ink's groundbreaking anthology, Out: Stories from the New Queer India (2012 release). You can follow him on Twitter @ShriSadasivan Writings in English - தமிழ் படைப்புகள்
Authors and Guest Authors
Revathi is a noted transgender activist. Her authobiography "The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story" has been translated into multiple languages from the original in Tamil.
I am currently (as of March 2017) a Bachelor's student and have been actively involved with the Xukia collective in Guwahati, Assam, since 2014.
Aditya Bandopadhyay is a lawyer based in New Delhi, India and is a prominant gay rights activist. He has been an activist for the rights of all sexualities since 1993, including playing a leading role in the movement for decriminalisation of sodomy in India.
Akhil Kang is a law graduate from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, and is currently working with Partners for Law in Development in Delhi on issues related to gender and sexuality.
Akhil Katyal is a writer and translator based in Delhi. His first book of poems 'Night Charge Extra' is forthcoming with Writers Workshop, Kolkata.
சில தேடல்கள் மட்டும் முடிவே இல்லாதவை. அது போல தான் என் தேடலும் . படியுங்கள், கருத்துகளை பதியுங்கள், பகிருங்கள்/ Some quests are never ending. Mine is one such. Do read and share your views. Bessimon a.k.a. Akilan
An MBA student from Shivamogga, Karnataka, who is also an amateur artist, a cinephile, a hopeless romantic and a friend of Dorothy.
Alok Vaid-Menon is a queer South Asian artist and activist who has performed and organized with queer movements in the United States, South Africa and India. They are committed to building radical queer movements and bodies that resist white supremacy and imperialism and like making art that thinks about these, and other what ifs. Check out Alok's political blog at http://queerlibido.tumblr.com/ and bio at http://returnthegayze.tumblr.com/bio and
Andy Silveira is a runner and a queer story teller with a doctorate in Film Studies and Visual Culture. He is based in Hyderabad.
Angshuman lives in Kolkata, with his partner and two children. He never has been sure what gender he is. He uses these pronouns out of habit. He is currently working on his first meaningful writing project, and it draws from his own experience of growing up in a brutally gendered society.
Anindita is a lawyer, fresh out of NALSAR University of Law as of mid- 2015, presently working as a research consultant with the Centre for Legal Philosophy and Justice Education at NALSAR and with Hyderabad Urban Lab.
Aniruddha Dutta is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa. Dutta’s current research project examines how insti- tutionalized gender/sexual identity politics in India challenges, reconfigures or reproduces structural hierarchies of class/caste and unequal access to citizenship.
Aniruddhan Vasudevan is a performer, writer and activist from Chennai, India. He is passionate and vocal about issues around gender, sexuality, social justice, and human rights. Aniruddhan is a founder of The Shakti Resource Center, a non-profit set-up working to further the discourse on these issues. Writings in English - தமிழ் படைப்புகள்
Anu is a poet, mother and member of an amazing band called Mental Heads, which does spoken word poetry on mental health issues. She has co-written a book of poetry with three other amazing woman poets, titled "A Converseation in Four Parts". She is from Kerala, born and brought up in Dubai, and had moved in the part 12 years between Bangalore and Chennai before finally settling down in Mumbai with her husband and daughter. It is no wonder, then, that she can't answer the question "Where are you from?" in a single sentence.
Chennai-based Apsara Reddy is senior editor of a national newspaper, a broadcast journalist, a human rights activist, brand ambassador, dancer, and political lobbyist.
Delhi-based medical educator Dr Aqsa Shaikh is a Community Medicine Specialist teaching at Jamia Hamdard, Delhi. A trans woman, Dr Aqsa writes extensively on the challenges faced by the transgender community in India. She is also passionate about raising awareness of about mental health issues among vulnerable groups. A poet, she writes in English, Hindi, and Urdu.
Archanaa Seker is passionate about mental health, environmental justice, gender-queer-sexuality-disability-human rights, education, corporate accountability, labour, media, arts and culture.
Arun Mirchandani is the author of 'You Are Not Alone', one of the first gay novels published after the reading down of section 377 by the high court in 2009. His short story 'The Choice' featured in the queer anthology 'Out! Stories from the new Queer India' published by Queer Ink in 2012. An alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Arun was born in South Korea, brought up in Taiwan and Mumbai and now lives and works in Hong Kong.
Hailing from Chennai and raised in Mumbai, Arvind Iyer is (as of March 2014) a graduate student at the University of Southern California working in the broad areas of Computational Neuroscience and biological visual processing. In recent years, Arvind has been benefiting from an ongoing learning process of 'cluing in' to LGBT rights and other civil rights causes thanks in large part to fellow secular humanist bloggers at Nirmukta, and is hopeful of paying it forward.
Arvind Raghavan is part of Nirmukta, a collective promoting science, free though and secular humanism in India.
Bessimon, originally from Nagerkoil, has been in Chennai since 2010. He volunteers for Orinam events and has read his poetry at Orinam's Quilt, the reading group.
Brenda, a bi transwoman and member of the MP/Orinam group, is a scientist from Chennai, currently pursuing her postdoctoral research in Germany.
Bubbly, born in Gujarat, was raised in Chennai. In 2012, at the age of 24, she moved abroad for higher studies. She has been part of the Orinam/MP mailing list since 2013.
Danish Sheikh graduated from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, following which he pursued a master’s degree at the University of Michigan Law School on a Michigan Grotius Fellowship. He primarily works on research and advocacy relating to Gender and Sexuality law along with issues relating to Free Speech and Access to Knowledge. He is also interested in pedagogy, and has taught courses in Law and Literature, Law and Popular Culture and Media Law.
Deep is a Mumbai based IT professional (email@example.com) Dr. Raman is a gay friendly psychiatrist
Deepan is a voracious reader with a keen interest in contemporary cinema, and is a firm believer in gender equality. He is a member of the Orinam group and mailing list.
Delfina is gender-fluid and envisions a world where everyone is free to express their sexualities and genders the way they choose to, without being stigmatized. S/he has volunteered with Orinam since mid-2013.
Orinam and Diversity Dialogues are collectives based in Chennai and Bengaluru, respectively. Diversity Dialogues is a collective representing multiple affinity groups, and diversity and inclusion professionals working in the space of inclusion across gender, disability, LGBTQIA, and generational diversity. Orinam, founded in 2003, is an all-volunteer unregistered collective of LGBTIQA+ people and allies. It functions as a support, cultural and activist space. In partnership with Innersight, Orinam and Diversity Dialogues also organise workshops on peer support to build mental health support systems within the LGBTQIA community, and workshops on LGBTQIA basics for counselling organisations.
Edwina teaches English in Singapore and was in Chennai for 3 months in 2011 dabbling in journalism.
J.P. Francis Dhivakar, M.A. (SW, HRM) says: I am a graduate of Loyola College, Chennai. Humanity matters lot to me. I am a post-modernistic thinker who celebrates diversity and works to break all oppressive cultures. I always want to speak about and explore the grey unspoken areas of society.
Dr. Gaurav Deka studied medicine in Gauhati Medical College. He is a clinical psychotherapist specialising in Regression Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. He also writes fiction and poetry in various literary journals, national and international. His short fiction, "To Whom He Wrote From Berlin" won the Open Road Review Contest, 2014; while "The Last Sin" was shortlisted for the Out Of Print-DNA contest, 2014.
Gee Imaan Semmalar is based in Bengaluru. His writings have appeared in Dalit Camera, WSQ Women's Studies Quarterly, OPEN Magazine, and other forums.
Grace Banu is an activist based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and the first out transwoman to be accepted into an engineering college in India.
Guhan M is a consultant who divides his time between Delhi and Chennai, and is a member of Orinam's Quilt reading group.
Ileana Jiménez believes in transforming education for gender, racial, and economic justice. A high school English teacher in New York, Jiménez is founder of the New York Independent Schools LGBT Educators Group, and is widely recognized for her work in designing and implementing inclusive curricula. More about her and her work is on her blog http://feministteacher.com
INSAAF is a student-driven legal aid project initiated by National Law University, Delhi, as part of its commitment to social justice and furthering the rule of law.
Advocate Jayna Kothari practices in the High Court of Karnataka and the Supreme Court. She is Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Policy Research which works extensively on transgender rights. She has taken up and argued cases on transgender issues in the High Court and has filed a constitutional challenge to Section 377 in the Supreme Court.
Jo is a doctoral student at the Indian Institute of Technology. Beyond her academic research on cancer studies, she loves researching the philosophies and psychologies of random people. Jo has recently realised her sapphic identity but absolutely hates labels. Her strength and motivation to go through this hetero world comes from her partner.
The author is a Strategy Consultant for a leading consulting house, based in Delhi. This is his first published piece.
Karthik is a doctoral student at MIT and will be conducting fieldwork in Tamil Nadu in the summer of 2015.
LABIA - a Queer Feminist LBT Collective is a non-funded group based in Bombay working since 1995.
I am from Trivandrum, currently living in Muscat. Writing has always been my passion and I often write about things I have seen and felt.
LesBit is a collective of lesbians, bi women and transmasculine persons in Bengaluru.
Living Smile Vidya - Smiley to friends - is an accomplished writer, theatre actor, director and artist. She received the Charles Wallace 2013 scholarship to study theatre in the UK. Her autobiography 'I am Vidya' has been translated from the Tamil original to English, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Assamese. Her drawings - based on her lived experience as a transwoman and her feminist perspective - have been exhibited in Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi.
Manasi Nene is the founder of the Pune Poetry Slam. She is - as of April 2015 - a student at the Foundation for Liberal and Management Education. Manasi loves anything that questions dominant culture, and writes about it. Currently, her only aim in life is to meet Carrie Brownstein. Manasi can be found on Twitter at @manasi_nene.
Manojkiran is a recently minted Mechanical Engineer who works in the field of renewable energy. He is passionate about children's education and LGBT rights. He joined the Orinam collective in February 2014.
Rahman, born to an Indian middle class family in Chennai, kept to himself for most of his young life. He spent the time he saved by avoiding social contact on movies, TV shows, books, poetry, dance, and drama: practically any medium used to tell a story. He tries to make an impact with his own words and evoke a range of emotions among his readers.
Mukesh loves being vegan and queer when he is not lost running the trails in rain forest, biking between cities and hiking the mountains. He understands geology and works in the construction industry.
Nadika is from Chennai. She is tall, dark and…has advanced degrees in history. Nadika has Kleinfelter’s syndrome, an active Second Life avatar, and many roles in Life itself. She writes and edits for a living, and shoots photos and documentaries when she can.
A wannabe engineer and wannabe don't-wannabe, ex-blogger. Loves to procrastinate writing in free time. Loves to educate self and straight friends on queer issues, carries colourful cards in wallet always. Tweets inanely and recently moved to @treadalone, an 'out' profile.
A non-binary transgender person, survivor, exploring writer, and an avid reader, living in Chennai. My pronouns are she/they. I'm a happy safe keeper of 400+ books. I usually write in free verse about my inner struggles and journey of self acceptance and discovery.
Nirangal is a Chennai-based NGO that works to advance justice and rights for LGBT and sex worker communities in Tamil Nadu, and thus contribute to the overall progress of these communities in India.
Pink Me is a 20-something Indian Christian woman who is just starting to embrace a sapphic identity.
Pramada Menon is a queer activist and an independent consultant working on issues of sexuality, sexual rights, gender, violence against women and organizational development and change. She has spent the last two decades of her professional life questioning, challenging, and seeking answers to questions of women’s human rights. She would like to develop new ways of learning and teaching and is currently exploring ways in which humour can be injected into the world of social change through her stand up performance Fat, Feminist and Free.
Prashanth has roots in Chennai, and is an avid writer. He has recently embraced who he is; and hopes that his keyboard can serve to help others in any meaningful way.
Spelunking through the persecuted corners and uneventful settings of this world, I write. I believe we all must, for us, for others. With an impeccable interest in human psychology, films, combat sports, books and an emerging passion for social justice, I'm a progressive liberal, a feminist and a freethinker who considers himself purposeless in comparison to the vastness of the cosmos, but also thinks if we have the biological privilege to exist and know about things why shouldn't we live better?
Praveen likes science fiction & murder mystery novels and also enjoys reading about technology and quantum physics in his spare time.
Priyank Pillai is a trans femme South Asian poet and conceptual artist. Born on a small francophone island in the Indian Ocean, they divide their time between friends and family in Africa, Asia, and the United States. They are currently working on a multimedia art project examining radical queer critiques of mainstream activism and organizing.
Pronoy Rai and Barath Ezhilan are PhD students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Queer Ink publishes and retails resources on India-specific Gender and Sexual Diversities. See queer-ink.com
Rashmi (ரஷ்மி) grew up in india and now lives in Freak-town, USA. She writes to share a piece of her mind but primarily is working on an unjust, ambitious and ulterior motive to establish equality and educate others :) She volunteers at Q Festivals, loves music, a full-time foodie, a part-time cook, and very recently, a novice film-maker.
Raveen is a creative professional based in Pune. He likes to blog about everyday social scenarios at http://raveengaikwad.blogspot.in. He is a quasi-meliorist, and deploys his writing skills for the same effect. Peace.
Average education; Finance BPO; Fits into the gay stereotype except that he lacks fashion sense. Believes that the recognition of individual rights is the greatest achievement of humanity.
Reva is a transwoman who is trying to retain her bearings and navigate through a complex web of relationships, self realization, societal expectations and daily challenges offered by her life. All this with a dollop of enthusiasm and a smile on her face, of course!
Madhumitha Venkataraman and Ritesh Rajani are diversity and inclusion champions who are committed to making the world and workplaces more inclusive, accessible and equitable for everyone (Persons with Disability, LGBTQ+, Women, Generational, etc.).
Madhumitha and Ritesh are diversity and inclusion champions who are committed to making the world and workplaces more inclusive, accessible and equitable for everyone (Persons with Disability, LGBTQ+, Women, Generational, etc.).
Ritesh is an HR professional working to make workplaces and the world a more inclusive place. Sourav teaches at the School of Law, Christ University, Bengaluru.
A transman, exploring writer, traveller, believer in old school, and a member of Homo sapiens.
Samira Obeid or Sam as most know her is a writer, multimedia content producer and creative thinker above all. An Indian butch lesbian originally from Chennai, she uses her identity and her pen as a way to create dialogue about the human existence that is often difficult to open up to an audience. She likes to believe she is a advocate of truth and liberty in its rawest forms, and has every intention of proving herself along life's every path. On an honest note, she loves entertaining a unsuspecting audience.
Sampoorna is a network for and by trans* and intersex Indians across the globe
Sandeep is an IT professional who calls Mumbai his home. Apart from books on software he loves to read novels, especially science fiction, and books on psychiatry and the paranormal. He occasionally finds it within himself to pour forth his emotions on MS Word. For those few hours that he is typing, he is living his characters. Sandy, as he likes to be called, also lends a sympathetic ear to whoever wants to vent out their joys and sorrows. Sandy has been gay all his life and proud of it too. An animal lover and a chocoholic, he loves going for long walks with his friends. A volunteer for Mingle, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sappho for Equality (http://www.sapphokolkata.in/) is a Kolkata based activist forum fighting for the rights of lesbian, bisexual women and transmen since 1999.
Shakthi Nataraj is an anthropologist researching narratives of sexual identity and violence in Tamil Nadu. Since 2009, she has been volunteering with Nirangal, an organisation working to promote the human rights of LGBTQs and sex workers.
Shalini Mahajan is a writer, researcher, queer feminist activist and a creative writing teacher based in Mumbai, India. She is a member of Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action (LABIA), a queer feminist LBT collective based in Mumbai. Her present research interests are Gender, Sexuality, Feminist Studies, Queer Theory, Crime Fiction and Poetry.
Shambhavi Madhan is a gender and queer rights activist based in Bangalore, and a volunteer with Orinam.
Shankar is from Tuticorin, India. He's a techie at heart, and a marketer by profession. He hates shopping, is a crappy dresser and prefers books and wifi over parties and dancing. He came out at the age of 22 and fights homophobia in his own little way, every day. You can follow him on Twitter @_shankarganesh
Shivapriya Ganapathy lives in Chennai, and is a research scholar working on lesbian feminism and language. She usually writes in free verse and loves to dabble with haiku and other Japanese poetry forms- some of which have appeared in online journals and two international anthologies. She also maintains a personal blog (http://wordsfromdarkness.blogspot.in) and finds writing therapeutic.
Shyamala is a student of literature and a photographer, based in Delhi. Her fields of interest include the intersections of gender and sexuality, and she is always on the lookout for more desi literature discussing these.
Soorya Sriram is a feminist, lgbt ally, freethinking, primate, movie freak, foodie on a diet who, ironically, hates labels. When he is not slogging away at work or advocating for equality, he can be found flirting with philosophies and theorising about political systems. His poetry and assorted musings may be found on his personal blog
South India Transgender Samithi is a collective of individuals from diverse transgender communities across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Q is a graduate of O.P. Jindal Global University, specializing in international relations and conflict studies. They is agender, the Editor of Maya, a queer magazine centered around loneliness and the uncomfortable contradictions of the LGBTQ movement, and the founder of the LGBTQ society of their alma mater. They also started the TwiLit Sessions, a a cozy open-mic for the introverted and socially awkward poets and musicians. They writes and researches about gender and sexuality, and is currently researching on the effectiveness of sexual harassment laws in educational institutions across India.
சுதா சந்தானம் சென்னையில் வசிக்கும் ஒரு ஓய்வுபெற்ற ஆசிரியை. இவர் மாற்றுப் பாலியல் குறித்துப் பொதுவாக பெற்றோர்களுக்கு இருக்கும் தவறான புரிதல்களைப் போக்குவதில் அக்கறை கொண்ட ஒரு தாய். Sudha Santhanam is a retired teacher from Chennai. She is a mother, who is passionate about clearing up misconceptions that surround LGBT people.
Sumit Baudh is a lawyer, scholar and activist in the areas of caste, gender, sexuality and human rights.
Surabhi Shukla is a lawyer and currently, a PhD (law) student at the University of Oxford, U.K.
BA Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies student at Cardiff University, UK. Editor of the LGBT+ section of Quench - a Cardiff students' magazine. Breaking News correspondent at news website, The Global Panorama. Passionate about political and humanist issues around the world. Avid reader and writer with a vivid imagination. Blogs at http://lotuslikemind.wordpress.com, tweets at @sugaryDEMON
Sushil is an architect and environmental psychologist from Chennai. He is interested in studying the queer community from the perspective of social psychology, especially social change.
The Glass Closet Collective consists of Diti and Chayanika in the Research team, Shals as the writing facilitator and a group of 14 amazing writers from Higher Educational Institutes across the country.
Valentina, 27 years old, from Italy. Student at the University of Torino, I'm doing a Master's in International Science and I focus my studies in India and China. At present (June-July 2017), I'm doing an internship at Nirangal, that I hope will bring me more knowledge about LGBTQI rights in India.
Vikram is a journalist who grew up in Chennai and currently makes Mumbai his home. He is among the founder-organizers of the Gay Bombay collective.
Vinodhan lives and works in Madras, India. He takes both an academic as well as an activist interest in questions of gender, sexuality, selfhood and mental health. He identifies as queer, not only in the sense of being non-heteronormative, but also in the implication of being different and wonderful, even weird, and hence "Vinodhan," which embraces the popular Tamil use of the word.
Vishnu is an eternal laid-back traveler. He believes that being joyful is his first duty. Loves literature, movies, theater, dogs, aquarium, cricket, tennis, photography and good food. He likes to spend his time in mountains, especially in Himalayas and enjoys both kinds of bird watching :) Passionate about wildlife conservation and improving educational climate in India.
Vyjayanti Mogli is transgendered, a Learning and Development professional, and a pro-bono board member of Wajood Society in Hyderabad. She has intervened in the honourable Supreme Court of India Koushal case through her affidavit highlighting medical abuse through reparative therapy and how recriminalisation encourages such unscientific and unethical medical practices.