HUMAN Pride Month

P for Poets and writers for the LGBTQ community

Indian queer poets and writers create and write to normalize queerness and to express their emotions and struggles. They all play an essential role in making things more normal for society and the community can feel more equal and comfortable. As well as they express their struggle and emotions through writing, producing, and creating. 

Many of us would not understand certain things regarding the LGBTQ community. By reading to these writers, it’s just a way to learn more about the community. Here are some queer poets and writers whose work you should follow to know more about the queer community:

Suniti Namjoshi 

She was born in 1941 in Mumbai and presently lives in England. Suniti’s work is inventive and playful. Moreover, she writes about racism, homophobia, and sexism. Suniti ‘s work is influenced by writers such as Virginia Woolf, Kate Millet, Adrienne Rich. Her work is translated into many languages and admired by everyone. Also, she is very active in gay liberation and the feminist movement. Her famous books on gender and sexuality are:

  • A question of silence: The sexual economics
  • Unruly figures: Queerness and the politics of sexuality in Kerala
  • New intimacies, old desires: Law, culture and Queer politics in neoliberal times
  • I am

Gazal Dhaliwal

Gazal is a screenwriter and wrote dialogue and screenplay for movies, Ek ladki ko dekha toh Aisa Laga and, Qarib Qarib singlle and critically acclaimed lipstick under my Burkha. She is a writer, activist, and public speaker. As well as that she has openly spoken about how it feels to be a transgender woman in India. Also, you must have seen her in one of the episodes of Satyamev Jayate. Other works of Gazal are:

  • Mismatched
  • Sepia
  • A monsoon date
  • Wazir 

She said in an interview with Business Standard that, In the professional world, I want to be known for my work rather than my status as a transwoman. My gender cannot be my only identity when I am writing a story because a story has no gender. Having said that I have a substantial reason to be okay with the tag ‘transwoman’ scriptwriter because I know the importance of the visibility of a transgender. Our community does not have enough representation which is very important.” 

Hoshang Merchant

Hoshang was born in 1947 and is a critic, teacher, and poet. He lived in Hyderabad and taught English at the University of Hyderabad. He studied Renaissance and Modernism and has exposed to various radical movements of the Left when he lived in Jerusalem. Not only but Hoshang has written 20 books in poetry and edited the first Indian Gay anthology, Yaraana. Right now he is living in Mumbai and undoubtedly you will become a fan of his wrork.He is a preeminent voice of gay liberation in India. His famous works are:

  • The man who would be queen
  • Secret writing of Hoshang Merchant 
  • Forbidden Sex, Forbidden Texts: New India’s Gay Poets
  • Gay Icons of India
  • Flower to Flame 
  • Indian Homosexuality: Ancient India to Contemporary India
  • Sufiana: Poems 

R. Raj Rao

He is an Indian writer, teacher of English literature, and poet. He was born in Mumbai and did his Ph.D. from The University of Bombay. In 2003 he published the gay novel of India, The boyfriend. From the success of his novel, he joined many movements and become a leading gay activist. In an interview, he has said that “I am myself a poet, novelist, playwright, and writer of non-fiction. Similarly, my teaching and research interests in queer theory and queer literature are a direct and natural outcome of my being gay and imaginatively tackling the subject in my fiction, poetry, and plays.” More works by R. Raj Rao:

  • Sildeshow 
  • Madam, Give Me My Sex 
  • One Day I Locked My Flat in Soul City 
  • Lady Lolita’s Lover 
  • Nissim Ezekiel: The Authorized Biography
  • Hostel Room 131

Leena Manimekalai

She is an Indian filmmaker, poet, actor, and activist. Leena has written five published poetry anthologies, worked in dozens of films, documentaries, and experimental poem films. Moreover, Leena has received many national and international awards for her work. She supported Asia’s first Genderqueer Pride Parade. She has also directed a movie about two transgender women while they look for a rental apartment in Chennai and the obstacles, IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK is the movie. Leena’s other work:

Poems

  • Ottrailaiyena
  • Ulakin Azhakiya Muthal Penn
  • Parathaiyarul Raani
  • Antharakanni

Documentaries

  • White van stories
  • Parai
  • Mathamma
  • A Hole in the Bucket
  • Altar
  • Waves After Waves
  • Goddesses

Here are some of our recommendations about poets and writers that you should follow to know and understand more about the queer community. Also, If you know any writer that should be mentioned and people should know about them, comment down below and tell us about their work. Keep reading!

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