Of all the collective voices that the LGBTQ community in India has, few catch our eye as much as Gaysi Family does. For the past seven years, they have chronicled the community and its life through its many ups and downs. What started as a blog to provide a safe space for desis of alternative sexualities to share their stories and experiences, has evolved into a multi-faceted entity, curating offline events ranging from film screenings and book readings to their now famous open mic night called Dirty Talk and their recent, successful stage production Drag Kings.
However, nothing they do captures our imagination more than The Gaysi Zine, their annual, self-published magazine that aims to make the concept of queerness a more relatable, everyday concept, while still choosing to tell these tales incredibly creatively. 2014’s third edition was in itself a work of art, something we believe set a whole new bar for queer content coming out of India, especially with its focus on its visual appeal. However, 2015’s edition has only outdone all its predecessors, most of which have focussed on in-depth features and photo essays. “With this fourth edition, we have realised a long pending dream of having a strong visual voice in the queer space,” said editor-in-chief Priya Gangwani.
The team behind the magazine decided to make it a graphic representation when they realised that lots of people were sharing their stories, but in words. There was still so much to be said and so much to be represented that was difficult to write, but could be drawn instead. “Graphic narratives make a beautiful balance between the visible and the invisible,” said Gangwani.
Like its previous editions, this year’s also relied solely on crowd funding, raising Rs. 2 lakh from donors. The stories inside deal with everything from the objectification women face on a daily basis, to stunning artworks criticising India’s current stance on LGBTQ rights, comics on sexism, and more. As far as bringing the conversation on LGBTQ rights into the open goes, few do it better than Gaysi Family and we’re in love with the current issue of the zine.
We’ve already got our copy and suggest you get yours here. Till then, here are some excerpts from 2015’s Zine...