K for Kitabein Bahut Si Padhi Hongi Tumne but Maybe not these
LGBTQ community and Queerness are not new to India and its culture. We have seen the history of the LGBTQ community in which we can find out since ancient times there was a representation of the LGBTQ community. The conservatives will tell us that this is all Western influence and against Indian tradition and cultural values.
If we see back, there is a rich history of literature about homosexuality, gender fluidity, and transgenderism. In Kamasutra, Manusmriti there is a representation of the community.
Lihaaf, a short story which was written in 1942 subtly tells you about Lesbianism. Let’s read more literature from Indian culture and give them more emphasis. These stories can have the same amount of recognition as other global books. So, here are some kitabein about Queerness, homosexuality.
Kari- Amruta Patil
In this book, the story revolves around Kari who recently becomes single and still swirling from her breakup as she navigates her life in a Cosmopolitan City, Mumbai. She went on different dates with men and hooked up with a woman in the bathroom. It is a graphic novel in which you will have glimpses of the beautiful city and the story of two lesbian lovers who are driven to attempt suicide but survived.
This book is a great way to understand and educate on the issue of lesbianism and how people consider it abnormal even in a typical modern city.
A Married Woman- Manju Kapur
The story revolves around Astha, a woman who is married to a conservative, loving, and caring man. Astha has two children and lives a happy, normal life but she was dissatisfied with the marriage. She was encountered with a young woman who is a social activist and Astha realizes that she is into women. In search of new meaning, she tried activism and working on the issue of the Babri Masjid. Sun path crosses another activity and she begins an extramarital affair with her.
Astha’s quest for love and satisfaction can lead to other cancers for a family and her marriage. We live in a country where many people do not realize their preferences and needs. This book is important to find out our quest towards sexuality and how societal norms do not define anyone!
The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story- A. Revathi
It’s is an autobiography of A. Revathi. A transactional woman who is an activist and had a strong voice for the transgender community. This book is important to read because this will tell you about issues that the LGBTQ community faces in India. This book is moving and courageous in which A. Revathi told how she was assigned as male gender at birth and how she ran away from home and started living with the Hijra community and became a well-known writer and activist.
Underwent to painful sex change operation and become a sex worker to make the ends meet. In this book, you will read about the condition of the hijra community, how they lack opportunities and so many prejudices against them.
The story revolves around Mohanaswamy. His long-time partner leaves him for a woman. After all that he desires to live a peaceful life with dignity. And stop at least ignore the widespread homophobia. He has faced prejudice and homophobia since his youth. Mohanaswamy is a book that deals with bullying and loss of love.
The book highlights human hypocrisy and how society sees homosexual folks. The gritty descriptions of Mohanaswamy explore urbanization, sexuality, and unflinching honesty about society.
Cobalt Blue- Sachin Kundalkar
The story revolves around two siblings, a brother, and a sister who fall in love with a mysterious man staying at their home as a paying guest. Both of the siblings, Tanay and Anuja, develop feelings for the young man individually and both of them were unaware of the other. The story is in the form of siblings’ perspective and in the book you can find how wonderfully Sachin explores the middle-class aspirants.
The book subtly explores the gay life in India and portraits young love and intimacy. The book will tell the wildly transformative power of love and longing heartbreak.
Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Unprivileged India-Maya Sharma
This book consists of 10 real-life narratives from various square people working from North India. It will give you some glimpses into the LGBTQ community and how they go through under-representation. How the conversation regarding sexuality is still Taboo. The book looks at the intersection of same-sex Desire, class, caste, and religion. It is an important book because it makes you understand how it feels to live in India and belong to the LGBTQ community. How much prejudice they face every day.
- The Man Who Would Be Queen- Hoshang Merchant
- Don’t Let Him Know- Rahul Mehta
- She Of The Mountains- Vivek Shraya
- Our lives, Our Words: Telling Aravani Stories- A.Revathi
- Wish You Were Here: Memoirs of a Gay Life- Sunil Gupta
Here are some Kitabein that you must read to know more about the LGBTQ community and know more about their struggles. And how much love they deserve and how society treats them. If you know any kitab that should be a part of the list, comment below and tell us more about it. Keep reading!