Edited by Minal Hajratwala, “Out! Stories from the New Queer India” is a collection of 30 stories that are from diverse sections of the country and gathered from all over the country—even the diaspora. These are the stories of contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in India who came out after the Section 377 ruling in 2009 by the Delhi High Court, which decriminalised homosexuality.
Minal Hajratwala is an author. Her book, “Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents,” won a Pen USA Award, an Asian American Writers Workshop Award, a Lambda Literary Award, and a California Book Award. It was also shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Prize. Hajratwala spent an academic year in Mumbai researching a novel while also writing poems about the unicorns of the ancient Indus Valley. She is a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and a writing coach.
Out! Stories from the New Queer India is one of the few Indian books that includes the whole spectrum of the queer community, not just focusing on one segment. There are stories of gay men, lesbians, bisexual men and women, as well as transgender people. The stories are not limited to one theme, but every short story features at least one queer person. One’s identity, one’s interaction and negotiation with society, family dynamics, pop culture, romance, relationships, mortality, and politics are among the subjects explored in this anthology.
The short stories also cover topics that are particularly specific to the community, such as coming out, gender stereotypes, and so on. Despite their differences, these stories have one thing in common: they are expressions of hitherto untold lives. Published by Queer Ink, this book also has two artists, Nandita Das and Chitra Palekar, about their work as LGBT allies and activists.