Gay Icons of India
Hoshang Merchant and Akshaya K. Rath
9789386215956 | PAN ǀ Rs 450 ǀ Paperback | July 10, 2019
‘Hoshang Merchant has gone boldly into a territory that was “out of bounds” in India till the historic ruling down of the dreaded Section 377. The narrative of Gay Icons of India is well paced, personal and insightful’ –Shobhaa De
‘India’s history is incomplete without acknowledging the millions of unspoken stories of the queer world. Gay Icons of India are symbolic of a way forward. “We’re here, we’re queer!’ – Keshav Suri
Fighting a relentless culture of discrimination and homophobia, India’s LGBTQ+ community is finally on the road to inclusion and acceptance. While there are still miles to go, the Supreme Court’s landmark reading down of Section 377 in September 2018 came as a battle hard-won for those who identify as gay.
In the wake of this watershed judgment, Gay Icons of India celebrates twenty-two extraordinary personalities from the queer community who have resisted injustices through their art and greatly aided LGBTQ+ social movements. From dancers and poets to writers and artists, Hoshang Merchant and Akshaya K. Rath pay homage to these inspirational figures who stand steadfastly for equal love and the right to be different.
Hoshang Merchant is the author of Yaraana: Gay Writing from India, Forbidden Sex, Forbidden Texts: New India’s Gay Poets, and The Man Who Would Be Queen. A well-known poet and teacher, he has published over twenty books of poetry. He recently retired from the University of Hyderabad for twenty-six years.
Akshaya K. Rath is an Assistant Professor of English and teaches creative writing, gender, and sexualities at NIT Rourkela. His book Secret Writings of Hoshang Merchant was published in 2016.