Queerness in IndiaSapana Mhatre | 28th Jun, 2016

A chronological record (history, herstory & hijrastory) of sexuality and gender diverse communities in India.

  • 400 BCE - 200 BCE

      • Vatsyayana's The Kama Sutra devotes an entire chapter to homosexuality with explicit detailed instructions on how to perform homosexual acts

  • 3rd century BC to c. 4th century AD

      • Tamil Sangam literature refers to relationships between two men and explores the lives of trans women in the Aravan cult in Koovagam village in Tamil Nadu

  • 1015

      • Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, who was the first Muslim ruler of the Indian subcontinent, has a relationship with his slave Malik Ayaz. This relationship has become an Islamic legend and Mahmud later appointed Malik Ayaz as the sultan of Lahore

  • 1529

      • Emperor Babur's memoirs, the Baburnama, include a recollection of his erotic love for a teenage boy

  • 1538

      • Shah Hussain, a Punjabi Sufi poet regarded as a saint, was in love with a Brahmin boy called "Madho" or "Madho Lal". They are often referred to as a single person with the composite name "Madho Lal Hussain"

  • 1740s

      • Dargah Quli Khan's personal diary Muraqqa-e-Delhi: The Mughal Capital in Muhammad Shah's Time "briefly documents his foray into the pederastic circles of Islamic Delhi

  • 1750-1830

      • Emergence of Rekhti chapti-namahs, or female same-sex narratives, in Urdu poetry

  • 1861

      • Anti-sodomy section of Offences against the Person Act 1861 imposed on entire British Empire, that says "Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable Crime of Buggery, committed either with Mankind or with any Animal, shall be liable, at the Discretion of the Court, to be kept in Penal Servitude for Life or for any Term not less than Ten Years." This section is credited with giving birth to the controversial Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • 1871

      • Hijras labeled a "criminal tribe" under the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, meaning they could be arrested as criminals anywhere in British India

  • 1897

      • Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 amended, with the subtitle "An Act for the Registration of Criminal Tribes and Eunuchs," ordering that "criminal" eunuchs “dressed or ornamented like a woman in a public street…be arrested without warrant” and imprisoned.

  • 1918

      • Earliest known records of South Asian MSM in North America, as Tara Singh and Jamil Singh are separately arrested for interracial sodomy in Sacramento, CA.

  • 1922

      • Poems Written in Prison by Gopabandhu Das, a freedom fighter and Gandhian, is published. At least two poems address male friends and co-workers, and the author describes these relationships in terms that are intense and erotically charged though not overtly sexual. These poems are sometimes included in Odia language literature textbooks.

  • 1924

      • Chocolate, a short story in Hindi written by nationalist and social reformer Pandey Bechan Sharma (under the penname Ugra), is published in the nationalist newspaper Matvala. Ugra's crusade against male-to-male sex sparks debate in Hindi newspapers and magazines, resulting in perhaps the first public debate in Hindi on homosexuality

  • 1929

      • Mahatma Gandhi speaks out against same-sex relations in a Young India letter, in response to queries on "unnatural vices" in schools.

  • 1936

      • Urdu poet Firaq Gorakhpuri writes an essay defending the Ghazal form of poetry that includes a defence of homosexuality, citing renowned philosophers, poets and other luminaries across the East and the West who were homosexual or had expressed homosexual desire in well-known works

  • 1942

      • "Lihaaf" ("The Quilt") is a 1942 Urdu short story written by Ismat Chughtai.

  • 1944

      • Ismat Chughtai faces obscenity trial for Lihaaf

  • 1945

      • Ismat Chughtai publishes her semi-autobiographical Tehri Lakeer ("The Crooked Line"), an Urdu novel that does not shy away from sexuality and depiction of same-sex attraction

  • 1962

      • India Rajendra Yadav, a leading Hindi novelist, publishes his story "Prateeksha" ("Waiting") that depicts a homosexual relation between two women without censure and in detail

  • 1968

      • India Bhupen Khakhar, a painter and writer of Gujarati fiction, as one of the few openly homosexual luminaries, writes an untitled story depicting bisexuality in a quotidian, lower middle-class context.

  • 1970s

      • India Gay Scene journal published in Calcutta (only a few issues published)

  • 1974

      • India Malayalam novel Randu Penkuttikal ("Two Girls") by V. T. Nandakumar is published in India. The novel gives a positive picture of lesbian relationships in Kerala, and became very popular among young women.

  • 1976

      • Kamala Das, a poet in South Asia, published My Story in 1976, creating a minor scandal. The autobiography revealed her extramarital heterosexual affairs and her adolescent crush on a female teacher and a brief lesbian encounter with an older student

  • 1978

      • Noted math prodigy Shakuntala Devi publishes The World of Homosexuals. The book is primarily a collection of interviews with homosexual men and advocates for societal acceptance of homosexuality

  • 1979

      • Begum Barve, a Marathi play written and directed by Satish Alekar, is performed for the first time by Theatre Academy, Pune, at Shriram Centre in New Delhi. Begum Barve, the central character, plays female parts and desires to live a woman’s life

      • The story "A Double Life" by well known Rajasthani author Vijay Dan Detha is published, depicting a romantic-sexual relationship between two women "married" to each other in rural Rajasthan 

  • Late 1970s / early 1980s

      • Partner, a one-act play written by Dr. Anand Nadkarni, explores the relationship between two male hostel inmates in love, and the complications when one of them gets married.

      • Two college students in love, Mallika and Lalitatambika, attempt suicide

      • The Delhi Group formed; Red Rose Rendezvous Group started. Indian women in Delhi active in creating spaces, dialogue, or research: Giti, Kanchana, Gita, Abha, and Paola

  • 1981

      • All-India Hijra Conference in Agra brings together over 50,000 hijras from across South Asia

      • Saheli Women's Resource Centre is founded in Delhi by Amiya, Bharati, Buchy, Gouri, Kalpana, Rukmini, Vichitra & Vidya

      • Book: Feminist Fables | Author: Suniti Namjoshi 
      • "Mitrachi Gosht", a lesbian theme play in Marathi written by eminent playwright Vijay Tendulkar opens in Mumbai and Thane. The play portrays the inner conflict of a woman who realizes she is lesbian. It was well received, and ran for 26 shows. (August 15)


  • 1984

      • Jagori is founded by Abha Bhaiya, Kamla Bhasin, Runu Chakravarty, Gauri Choudhury, Sheba Chhacchi, Manjari Dingwaney and Joginder Panghaal

      • Book: From the Bedside Book of Nightmares | Author: Suniti Namjoshi

  • 1886

      • First case of HIV reported in India, in Chennai

      • Flesh and Paper Suniti Namoshi and Gillian Eve Hanscombe

      • Hijra conference in Bhopal, India (April)

      • Conditions: Thirteen publishes interview with Khayal and Utsa in "There Are, Always Have Been, Always Will Be Lesbians in India

      • Kanchana researches Hindu text for women loving women references

      • Book: Flesh and Paper | Author: Suniti Namjoshi

  • 1987

      • Sneha Sangam gay group forms in Bangalore

      • Society magazine in India prints a story about Trikone (Jan)

      • Bhopal policewomen Lila and Urmila marry with religious priest and get fired from police job (Dec)

      • Village teachers Aruna Sombhai Jaisinghbhai Gohil, aged 31, and Sudha Amarsinh Mohansinh Ratanwadia, aged 29, entered maitri karar (friendship agreement) before a notary public in 1987 after nine years together

      • Book:  Between the Lines: An Anthology by Pacific/Asian lesbians of Santa Cruz, California includes Anu's chapter "Sexuality, Lesbianism, and South Asian Feminism"

  • 1988

      • Trikone (San Francisco), Khush (Toronto), Shakti (London) and Urvashi Vaid make the Illustrated Weekly of India.

      • Gita Darji and Kishori Shah RIP

      • Book: My Story | Author: Kamala Das

        My Story


  • 1989

      • Dominic D’Souza arrested placed in solitary confinement in India because he is HIV+ (Feb)

      • Sneha Sangam formed (Bangalore)

      • Sojourner publishes "Breaking Silence: Coming Out in India", Sharmeen Islam

      • South Asian Gay Association formed by 12 South Asians

      • Book: The Mothers of Maya Diip | Author: Suniti Namjoshi

  • 1990

      • Freedom newsletter published in Gulbarga (Sep)

      • Fun Club starts in Calcutta to organize social gatherings (Dec)

      • India's first gay magazine, Bombay Dost, founded by Ashok Row Kavi (Jun)

      • Indian lesbians attend Asian Lesbian Network conference in Bangkok

      • Lila’s father files case under Section 377 against Lila’s partner Tarulata who underwent FTM sex change to marry Lila Chavda in 1989 (Apr)

      • Red Rose Meetings start in New Delhi for gay men

      • Vandana Cibbal and Simmi Kapoor RIP

      • Book:  Trying to Grow by Firdaus Kanga

      • Film: Flesh and Paper by Pratibha Parmar about Suniti Namjoshi

      • Film:  Jareena: Portrait of a Hijra by Prem Kalliat

  • 1991

      • ABVA publishes Less than Gay, the first citizen’s report on homosexuality in India (Nov)

      • Pravartak published in Calcutta

      • Sakhi formed in New Delhi (Jul) (not sure if its 1990 or 1991) founded by Giti Thadani

      • Book: Khush: An Investigation into South Asian Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Lives edited by Shivananda Khan and Pratibha Parmar, and SHAKTI, published in London by the Naz Project

      • Film: Bolo! Bolo! By Gita Saxena and Ian Rashid

      • Film: Eunuchs – India’s Third Gender by Michael Yorke for BBC

      • Film: Khush – landmark doc by Pratibha Parmar

      • Film: Khush Refugees by Nidhi Singh

      • Play: Bravely Fought the Queen by Mahesh Dattani

  • 1992

      • Activist Siddhartha Gautam, a lawyer who founded the AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA) in 1989-90 to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS and protest discriminatory policies, passes away in New Delhi at age 28

      • Dominic D’Souza, AIDS activist dies

      • Udaan founded in Mumbai to work with MSM

      • Book: Invisible Minority – The Unknown World of the Indian Homosexual by Arvind Kala

  • 1993

      • Aarambh newsletter/magazine debuts in New Delhi

      • Counsel Club formed in Calcutta

      • Friends of Siddhartha Gautam organize a film festival in Delhi in his memory

      • Khush Club forms in Mumbai of gay men

      • Modern-day traditional wedding Aditya Advani and Michael Tarr performed by Swami Bodhananda

      • Naz and Sakhi Seminar on Alternative Sexualities in New Delhi

      • Nirantar Center for Gender and Education is founded

      • Pratibha Parmar receives Frameline Award for contributions to queer cinema

      • Samraksha AIDS organization formed in Bangalore (Dec)

      • Book: Feminist Fables by Suniti Namjoshi

      • Book: Lotus of Another Color, edited by Rakesh Ratti

      • Book: Shobha De's Strange Obsession (1993), a rambunctious novel about lesbian love published by Penguin Books of India

      • Book: Queer Looks edited by Pratibha Parmar, John Greyson, Martha Gever

      • Book: Out on Main Street by Shani Mootoo

      • Gay angst (review of Lotus of Another Color), India Today, June 30, 1993

  • 1994

      • ABVA challenges Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in court after condom distribution prohibited in Tihar Jail, Delhi

      • First gay conference in India reported (incorrectly) by Erie Gay News in Feb 1995. Conference said to have happened Dec (1994). See 1981

      • G.A.Y (Good as You) group formed in Bangalore

      • Humsafar Trust registered in India

      • All India Hijra Kalyan Sabha got voting rights in India

      • Naz/Humsafar Gay Men’s Conference in Bombay

      • Vaadamalli by novelist Su.Samuthiram is the first Tamil novel about Aravaani community in Tamil Nadu

      • Vimla Farooqui of National Federation of Indian Women asks PM to stop gay meet claiming homosexuality is Western

      • Book: Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai

      • Book: Funny Boys and Funny Girls: Notes on a Queer South Asian Planet by Gayathri Gopinath

      • Film: Destiny, Desire and Devotion by Zahid Dar

  • 1995

      • Anuja Gupta, who worked with ABVA, an Indian AIDS prevention group, testifies at tribunal on human rights violations against sexual minorities in New York (Oct)

      • Humsafar Center inaugurated in Bombay (Oct)

      • SAGrrls list serve launched by Jasbir Puar and others

      • South Asia lesbians and bisexual women at Beijing Women's Conference (Sep)

      • Stree Sangam started (Now referred to as LABIA- A Queer Feminist LBT Collective) founded by Lesley Esteves and Shals Mahajan 

      • Sulaiman Mohammed, founding member of Atish passes away (Aug)

  • 1996

      • Kali becomes first hijra to stand for elections in Bihar (Judicial Reforms Party) (Apr)

      • Stree Sangam organizes First National Gathering of Women who Love Women in Mumbai (Jun)

      • TARSHI is founded by Radhika Chandiramani

      • Book: Giti Thadani, Sakhiyani: Lesbian Desire in Ancient and Modern India

      • Book: Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night

      • Book: The Invisibles: A Tale of Eunuchs of India by Zia Jaffrey

      • Film: A Mermaid Called Aida by Riyad Wadia

      • Film: BomGay, based on R. Raj Rao’s poems, by Riyad Wadia

      • Film: Fire by Deepa Mehta

  • 1997

      • Bandhu Social Welfare Society established in Dhaka to work on HIV/AIDS and the MSM community

      • Copies of Trikone seized by Indian customs on grounds of morality (Aug)

      • Darpan newsletterfor Indian LGBT launched in Delhi

      • Humrahi formally starts in Delhi

      • Mahila Samanwaya Committee for sex workers in Calcutta opens membership to male sex workers

      • Meeting for Women who love Women is part of VIth National Conference of Women’s Movements, Ranchi (Dec)

      • National Seminar on Gay Rights organized by students of National Law School in Bangalore (Sep)

      • Naz Foundation (India) Trust starts helplines – Sangini for women and Humraz for men

      • Sabrang – a mixed group forms in Bangalore (Sep)

      • Book: Sex, Longing and Not Belonging – A Gay Muslim’s Quest for Love and Meaning by Badruddin Khan

      • Film: Darmiyaan: In Between by Kalpana Lajmi

      • Film: Sixth Happiness by Waris Hussein

      • Film: Tamanna by Paresh Rawal about the life of a hijra

  • 1998

      • Al-Fatiha Foundation, an organization for LGBTQ Muslims worldwide, is founded by Faisal Alam, a Pakistani America

      • DESIDYKES created

      • First public performance of Chetan Datar's Marathi-language play Ek Madhav Baug at the Humsafar Trust in Mumba

      • Gay Bombay (internet group) formed

      • GHAR (Gay Housing Assistance Resource) mailing lists start, eventually covering Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Canada, and the United States

      • Partners for Law in Development is founded

      • Sangha Mitra newsletter in Kannada and English published in Bangalore (Feb)

      • Sarani experimental group stages Coming Out with Music in Calcutta (Apr)

      • Scripts a magazine which features queer/feminist/activist voices from LABIA is founded

      • Book: Cinnamon Gardens – a novel by Shyam Selvadurai

      • Book: Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India by Serena Nanda

      • Film: Fire released in India and theaters are vandalized (Nov-Dec)

      • Play: On A Muggy Night in Mumbai – play by Mahesh Dattani explores gay life. On a Muggy Night in Mumbai performed in Mumbai

      • Book: Cinnamon Gardens | Author: Shyam Selvadurai

        Cinnamon Gardens

  • 1999

      • Aanchal Trust forms in Bombay with helpline for women (Aug)

      • Al-Fatiha hosts first national conference for LGBT Muslims (May)

      • Campaign for Lesbian Rights launched in India partly as a response to the violent demonstrations against Fire (Jan)

      • Counsel Club and Integration organizes Friendship Walk in Calcutta (Jul)

      • Fire re-cleared by Central Board of Film Censors (Feb)

      • Fire released in India

      • Khamosh!Emergency Jari Hai/ Lesbian Emergence published by Campaign for Lesbian Rights in India (Aug)

      • LGBT India conducts Operation Sparsh to educate political parties on sexual minority rights (Sep)

      • Olava (Organized Lesbian Alliance for Visibility and Acceptance) forms in Pune (Nov)

      • Sangama started in Bangalore

      • Sappho forms in Calcutta for lesbian and bi women (Jun)

      • Sanghamitra a magazine for Indian LGBT begins in Bangalore

      • The White Party (a gay party) in Bombay raided by police (Jun)

      • Yaarian, national gay conference in Hyderabad (Feb)

      • Book: Facing the Mirror – lesbian writing from India for Penguin India edited by Ashwini Sukhtankar

      • Book: First edition of Humjinsi: Resource book on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Rights in India published (Feb)

      • Book: Love in a Different Climate: Men who have Sex with Men in India by Jeremy Seabrook

      • Book: The Splintered Day – a novel by V.K. Mina

      • Book: Yaraana – anthology of gay writing for Penguin India | Editor: Hoshang Merchant

      • Film: Chutney Popcorn by Nisha Ganatra

      • Film: Summer in My Veins by Nishit Saran

      • Book: A Woman Like That | Author: Joan Larkin

        A Woman Like That

  • 2000

      • 172nd Law Commission Report of the Law Commission of India recommends deletion of Section 377 (Mar)

      • Alternative Law Forum is formed in Bangalore

      • Ash Kotak’s play Hijra staged in London (Oct)

      • CREA a feminist human rights organization is founded  by Geetanjali Misra & Pramada Menon

      • Delhi hosts its first officially "out" lesbian and gay film festival (Jan)

      • Gay Bombay has meeting with parents (Feb)

      • Humjinsi, a resource book for LGB rights published (India). Also includes papers presented at a seminar in Mumbai (1997)

      • Humsafar Trust organizes Looking into the Next Millenium conference in Mumbai (May)

      • LGBT India conducts Operation Sparsh to educate political parties on sexual minority rights

      • SAATHII founded in Chennai and New York as an NGO working on concerted response to HIV/AIDS epidemic in India

      • Journal of Homosexuality’s issue on queer Asian cinema includes several articles on Indian cinema

      • National Human Rights Commission in India recommend reformulating Section 377 to legalize sexual activity between consenting adults (Nov)

      • Poet Ifti Nasim receives Adeeb International Award (Jul)

      • Shaleen Rakesh starts regular gay column in Around Town magazine in New Delhi (Feb)

      • QueerIISc, the first college/university campus queer group in India, founded at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

      • Shabnam Mausi, a hijra, wins election in Madhya Pradesh to state assembly (Mar)

      • Book:  Same Sex Love in India – Readings from Literature and History | Author: Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai

        Same Sex Love in India

      • Film: Bombay Eunuchs, directors Alexandra Shiva, Sean McDonald and Michelle Gucovsky

      • Book: Gay Bombay | Author: Parmesh Shahni

        Gay Bombay

      • Book: Kari | Author: Amruta Patil

      • Book: On a Muggy Night in Mumbai | Author: Mahesh Dattani

  • 2001

      • Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s only organization for sexual minorities founded

      • Companions on a Journey and Women's Support Group win Felipa DeSouza award from IGLHRC (May)

      • Delhi hosts India’s first public gay wedding for Vijay and Naseem (May)

      • Four activists of Naz Foundation International arrested in Lucknow under Section 377 in "gay area," Naz and Bharosa offices raided (Jul)

      • Gay Bombay has meeting with parents (India)

      • Lakshyaa – first Gujarati gay magazine comes out

      • Milan Project (Naz India) files case with National Human Rights Commission against psychiatric abuse of a homosexual patient subjected to aversion therapy (May)

      • Naz Foundation (India) Trust awarded 2001 Commonwealth Award for Action on HIV/AIDS (Oct)

      • Naz Foundation files petition in Delhi High Court challenging constitutional validity of Section 377 (Dec)

      • Book: Queering India edited by Ruth Vanita

      • Film: Bombay Eunuch

      • Film: For Straights Only by Vismita Gupta-Smith

      • Film: Rewriting the Script: A Love Letter to Our Families (Toronto)

      • Book: Bhupen Khakhar | Translator: G. Devy, N. Mehta & B. Srinivasan

        Bhupen Kakkar

      • Book: Ladies Coupé | Author: Anita Nair

  • 2002

      • Ashok Pillai, president of Indian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS passes away (Apr)

      • Delhi hosts first public gay wedding

      • Filmmaker Nishit Saran killed in car accident in New Delhi

      • First ILGA summit in India organized by Humsafar Trust and Aanchal (Oct)

      • First legal same-sex union on Indian soil with Indian fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, a Goan Catholic, and Jerome Marrell conducted at French Embassy under French law

      • Hijra Habba festival organized in Bangalore

      • Lovers Geethalakshmi and Sumathi commit suicide in Tamil Nadu (Sep)

      • Naz Foundation files petition in Delhi high court, challenging Section 377

      • Police harassment of Sangama organization in Bangalore

      • Sahayatrika group set up in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala to tackle increasing lesbian suicides (Oct)

      • Book: The Man who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore by Devdutt Pattanaik

      • Film: Flying With One Wing – a film by Ashok Handagama about a woman who lives as a man released in Sri Lanka

      • Film: For Straights Only

      • Film: Gulabi Aina, a drag queen movie by Sridhar Rangayan

      • Film: Kaashish by Sangini

      • Film: Mango Soufflé, film version of Muggy Night directed by Mahesh Dattani

      • Book: Translating Desire | Editor: Brinda Bose

        Translating Desire

      • Book: Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society | Author: Ruth Vanita

  • 2003

      • Anjuman formed as a platform to engage JNU’s public political spaces with conversations on gender and sexuality

      • Black and White – 1st GLBT AIDS charity event in Colombo (Jun)

      • Filmmaker Riyad Wadia passes away in Mumbai (Dec)

      • Larzish, 1st International Film Festival of Sexuality and Gender Plurality in Mumbai (Aug)

      • Movenpick/Orinam, social support group for LGBT&A started in Chennai, India

      • Nepal hosts first drag beauty contest (May)

      • Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society hosts Gaijatra Pride festival (Aug)

      • Nigah a queer collective working on issues related to gender and sexuality is founded in Delhi

      • Openly gay painter Bhupen Khakkar passes away (Aug)

      • Rainbow Walk – Gay Pride march in Kolkata (Jun)

      • Shree Nandu, 24, and Sheela, 22, declared themselves same-sex spouses

      • Book: The Boyfriend, a novel by R. Raj Rao

      • Book: The Trouble with Islam by Irshad Manji results in death threats

  • 2004

      • 39 gays arrested in Nepal on grounds of "disturbing society" (Aug)

      • Delhi High Court dismisses Naz India’s public interest litigation petition seeking repeal of Section 377 (Sep)

      • Equal Ground – an LGBTIQ organization forms in Sri Lanka (Jun)

      • First Colombo Pride in Sri Lanka

      • Hijra activist Famila dies in Bangalore (Aug)

      • Humsafar opens 1st Indian gay and lesbian drop-in center opens in Mumbai (Apr)

      • On December 49 2004 Voices against 377 launched the "Million Voices Campaign" (Dec), a campaign to collect one million messages on sexual rights

      • Pushkin Chandra and Kuldeep, gay men, killed in Delhi. (Aug)

      • Swakanthey (In Our Own Voice) a bilingual (Bengali/English) magazine by Sappho begins publishing

      • Theaters vandalized in India over screening of Girlfriends (Aug)

      • Voices Against 377 publishes a report about endig discrimination against queer desire

      • Book: Babyji by Abha Dawesar

      • Book: Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali

      • Book: Red Threads: The South Asian Queer Connection in Photographs by Poulomi Desai and Parminder Sekhon

      • Film: Happy Hookers by Ashish Sawhney

      • Film: Many People Many Desires by Jayashree T.

      • Film: The Bath by Sachin Kundalkar

      • Film: The Journey by Ligy Pullapally

      • Film: Touch of Pink by Ian Iqbal Rashid

      • Film: Yours Emotionally by Sridhar Rangayan

      • Book: Bravely Fought Queen | Author: Mahesh Dattani

        Bravely Fought Queen

  • 2005

      • 1st Sri Lankan Pride Celebration in Colombo 

      • Blue Diamond Society in Nepal launches weekly newspaper (Jan)

      • In Plainspeak, a magazine with content on sexuality begins to be published by TARSHI

      • Ismail Merchant passes away (May

      • Onir’s award-winning film My Brother Nikhil about a gay swimmer and AIDS releases in India (Mar)

      • Pokkhiraj" (The Pegasus) gay music video by Bangla band Cactus airs on TV (Jul)

      • Protesters march in Mumbai against Section 377 (Aug)

      • Vikram Seth comes out

      • Voices Against 377 is founded

      • Book: Partner (Marathi) | Author: Bindumadhav Khire
      • Book: Because I Have a Voice – Queer Politics in India edited by Arvind Narrain and Gautam Bhan

      • Book: Impossible Desires – Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures by Gayatri Gopinath

      • Book: Love’s Rite – Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West | Author: Ruth Vanita

        Love's Rite

      • Book: Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai

      • Film: My Brother Nikhil by Onir

      • Fim: Shabnam Mousi by Yogesh Bhardwaj

      • Film: Yours Emotionally!

      • Book: Wish You Were Here | Author: Sunil Gupta

        Wish You were Here

  • 2006

      • Abha Dawesar's Babyji wins Stonewall Award

      • Flora Fountain Mumbai Anti-377 protest

      • Four men arrested in Lucknow for operating an Internet "gay racket" and "unnatural sex" (Jan)

      • Men Community Development Society for homosexuals formed in Chennai (Mar)

      • NACO estimates 5.2 million people ages 15–49 living in India with HIV/AIDS (Apr)

      • Rainbow News, a newsletter, is launched in Columbo by EQUAL GROUND

      • The Dalai Lama expresses concern at violence against LGBT people and urges human rights for all (Apr)

      • Queer Resource website Orinam.net website launched

      • Book: Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Underprivileged India | Author: Maya Sharma

        Loving Women

      • Book: Gay Writers in Search of the Divine | Author: Antony Copley

        Gay Writers in Search

      • Book: With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India | Author : Gayatri Reddy

        With Respect To Sex

  • 2007

      • Supreme Court of Nepal orders government to support LGBT equality

      • Book: Stealing Nasreen by Farzana Doctor

      • Film:  68 Pages directed by Sridhar Rangayan

      • Book: About Me: Apni Khabar | Author: P.B. Sharma 'Ugra' | Translator: Ruth Vanita

        About Me (Apni Khabar)

      • Book: Defending Human Rights | Author: Oishik Sicar, Debolina Dutta & Sneha Gole

        Defending Human Rights

      • Book: Stealing Nasreen | Author: Farzana Doctor

        Stealing Nasreen

  • 2008

      • Chay magazine begins publication on sex and sexuality in Pakistan

      • Chennai Dost established

      • Nepali government starts to allocate national budget for LGBTQ

      • Sunil Pant elected to Nepali Constitutional Assembly (first openly elected queer person) (Apr)

      • The zine Gaysi is founded

      • Book: Forbidden Sex, Forbidden Texts: New India’s Gay Poets | Author: Hoshang Merchant
      • Book: Gandhi's Tiger and Sita's Smile | Author: Ruth Vanita

        Gandhi's Tiger Sita's Smile

      • Book: New Life: Selected Stories | Author: Viyai D. Detha

        New Life

      • Book: Past Continuous | Author: Neel Mukherjee

        Past Continuous

      • Book: The Pregnant King | Author: Devdutt Pattanaik

        The Pregnant King

  • 2009

      • Campaign for Open Minds launched

      • Chennai’s first Rainbow Pride March (June)

      • Jiah, a quarterly electronic magazine was launched for Indian queer women in November, 2009

      • Keengar Society – Youth Secular Organization for Protection of Religious and Sexual Minorities registered in Pakistan

      • Pakistan’s Supreme Court declares third gender for trans/hijra population; orders all state organizations to protect them equally under the law

      • Pink Pages India, an elctronic magazine for Indian LGBT is first published in July of 2009

      • Section 377 read down by Delhi High Court to exclude all consensual sex among adults

      • The Queer Chronicle (now known as TQC), a monthly electronic magazine is launched for LGBT in Pune in September 2009

      • Book: Blue Boy | Author: Rakesh Satyal

        Blue Boy

      • Magazine: Bombay Dost 2009 | Editor-in-Chief: Ashok Row Kavi | Guest Editor: Vikram Phukan | Editor: Nitin Karani

        Bombay Dost 2009

      • Book: Leaving India | Author: Minal Hajratwala

        Leaving India

      • Book: The Right that Dares to Speak its Name (Kannada & English) | Author: A. Narrain & M. Eldridge

        Kannada    English

      • Book: Indradhanu (Marathi) | Author: Bindumadhav Khire

  • 2010

      • Galaxy Magazine, a monthly electronic magazine is launched in January 2010

      • Humsafar Trust premieres Hindu translation of Chetan Datar's play Ek Madhav Baug at Mumbai Queer Film Festival, before taking the play on the road across India and the United States

      • KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival founded

      • Queer Ink is founded by Shobhna S. Kumar

      • Yaariyan group for LGBT youth founded in Mumbai by the Humsafar Trust (Dec)

      • Film:  Arekti Premer Golpo, a Bengali drama directed by Bengali filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly

      • Film:  Memories in March, a Hindi and English language drama directed by Sanjoy Nag

      • Book: Alternative Sexualities in India | Author: Ana Garca-Arroyo

        Alternative Sexualities in India

      • Book: Exploring Queer Identity | Author: Amey Kolhe & Imran Ali Khan

        Exploring Queer Identity

      • Book: Hostel Room 131 | Author:R. Raj Rao

        Hostel Room 131

      • Book: Jaya | Author: Devdutt Pattanaik


      • Book: Pink Sheep | Author: Mahesh Natarajan

        Pink Sheep

      • Book: Quarantine | Author: Rahul Mehta


      • Book: The Dead Camel & other Stories | Author: Parvati Sharma

        The Dead Camel

      • Book: The Last Pretence | Author: Sarayu Srivasta

        The Last pretence

        Book: The Truth About Me | Author: A. Revathi

        The Truth About Me

      • Book: Vivek and I | Author: Mayur Patel

        Vivek And I

      • Book: You Are Not Alone | Author: Arun Mirchandani

        You Are Not Alone

  • 2011

      • Hijras get right to vote by Supreme Court

      • Naz Male Health Alliance (the first MSM/TG based CBO) established in Pakistan

      • Open listserv gay_bombay@yahoogroups.com formed, not affiliated with gaybombay@yahoogroups.com list

      • Saathi (IIT-Bombay) campus-based LGBT group

      • Srishti Madurai formed on September 2 as India's first student volunteer LGBTQIA educational research foundation

      • Film: Project Bolo-Indian LGBT Oral History Project

      • Book: The Man Who Would be Queen: Autobiographical Fictions | Author: Hoshang Merchant
      • Book: Blue Blood | Author: Uttara Chauhan

        Blue Blood

      • Magazine: Bombay Dost 2011 | Editor: Ashok Row Kavi & Shibu Thomas

        Bombay Dost 2011

      • Book: Chasing Numbers Betraying People Published by Aneka

        Chasing Numbers Betraying People

      • Book: Jamali- Kamali: A Tale of Passion in Mughal India | Author: Karen Chase


      • Book: Law, Like, Love: Queer Perspectives on Law | Editor: Arvind Narrain & Alok Gupta

        Law Like Love

      • Book: My Brother…Nikhil | Author: Onir

        My Brother Nikhil

      • Book: Ninny's Natter | Author: Ninad Jog

        Ninny's Natter
      • Book: Our Lives Our Words | Author: A. Revathi

        Our Lives Our Words

      • Book: Perfectly Untraditional | Author: Sweta Srivastava Vikram

        Perfectly Untraditional

      • Book: Six Meters Of Pavement | Author: Farzana Doctor

        Six Meters Of Pavement

      • Book: The Exiles | Author: Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla

        The Exiles

  • 2012

      • Anil Sadanandan was murdered on May 10, 2012

      • Asia's first Genderqueer pride parade and Alan Turing centenary celebrations commenced at Madurai on July 2012

      • First LGBT Education Fest for School Students launched by Srishti Madurai at Madurai on 5 June 2012, It was attended by 600 school students

      • Gopi Shankar of Srishti Madurai became the youngest panelist to share a chair at the University Grants Commission’s sponsored seminars on gender and sexuality that have been taking place all over Tamil Nadu since 2012-2014

      • Several Pakistani hijra leaders run for national and provincial assembly seats in elections (e.g. Bindiya Rana of Gender Interactive Alliance

      • Book: My Magical Palace | Author: Kunal Mukherjee
      • Film: India Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish by Rituparno Ghosh

      • Book: Out! Stories from New Queer India | Editor: Minal Hajratwala

        Out! Stories from the New Queer India

      • Book: Close, Too Close: The Tranquebar Book of Queer Erotica | Author: Meenu and Shruti

        Close Too Close

      • Book: Female Masculinity | Author: Judith Halberstam

        Female Masculinity

      • Book: Gender, Sex and the City | Author: Ruth Vanita

        Gender Sex and the City

      • Book: The Canada Album | Author: R. Raj Rao

        The Canada Album

      • Book: The Green Rose | Author: Sharmila Mukherjee

        The Green Rose

      • Book: Travails of Entrapment | Author: Himadri Roy

        Travails Of Entrapment

  • 2013

      • On January 2013 The American College in Madurai under graduation English department included Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai as part of syllabus under gay literature and ‘The Truth about me: A Hijra Life story’ by A. Revathi under Third Gender literature marginalized studies. Due to the efforts of Srishti Madurai.

      • Srishti Madurai launched India's first helpline for Genderqueer, LGBTQIA in October 2, 2011, at Madurai. Later in June 2013 the helpline turned to offer service for 24 hours with a tagline "Just having someone understanding to talk to can save a life"

      • On December 11, 2013, Supreme Court of India reinstates Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, overruling the 2009 Delhi High Court Judgement

      • Book: A People Stronger | Author: Suneeta Singh, Sangita Dasgupta, Pallav Patankar & Minati Sinha

        A People Stronger

      • Book: Alone Together | Author: Mannu Bhandari, Archana Verma, Rajee Seth | Translator: Ruth Vanita

        Alone Together

      • Magazine: Bombay Dost 2013 | Editor: Ashok Row Kavi & Shibu Thomas

        Bombay Dost 2013

      • Book: Cobalt Blue | Author: Sachin Kundalkar | Translator: Jerry Pinto

        Cobalt Blue

      • Book: How I Got Lucky | Author: Farhad J. Dadyburjor

        How I Got Lucky

        Book: I Am Vidya | Author: Living Smile Vidya

         I Am Vidya

      • Book: The City of Devi | Author: Manil Suri

        The City Of Devi

      • Book: The Hungry Ghosts | Author: Shyam Selvadurai


      • Book: The Lion and the Antler | Author: Shaleen Rakesh

        The Lion and the Antler

      • Book: Antarang (Marathi) | Editor: Bindumadhav Khire


  • 2014

      • The Supreme Court of India agreed to hear arguments for a curative petition on Section 377

      • In July 2014 first book on Genderqueer in Tamil and first Tamil book on LGBTQIA from Srishti Madurai was released by BJP’s state general secretary Vanathi Srinivasan at the Hindu spiritual service foundation’s sixth service fair, Chennai

      • First Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit held in Mumbai (Feb)

      • Supreme Court of India rules in the NALSA vs. Union of India case, declaring that transgender people have all rights granted by the Indian constitution, the right to determine their gender (man, woman, third-gender) regardless of surgery, hormones or atti

      • In October 2014, A month long celebrations commenced to celebrate LGBT History Month at The American College with a lecture on Gender and sexual minorities organised by Srishti Madurai

      • Maraikappata Pakkangal (Hidden Pages) is the first book on LGBTQIA & Gendervariants in Tamil penned by Gopi Shankar of Srishti Madurai

      • Book: Shikhandi | Author: Devdutt Pattanaik


      • Book: Talking of Muskaan | Author: Himanjali Sarkar


  • 2015

      • Madhu Kinnar, India's first transgender mayor and a member of the Dalit community, elected as mayor of Raigarh, Chhattisgarh (Jan)

      • India's Rajya Sabha passes the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, paving the way for a potential future law (Apr)

      • Manabi Bandyopadhyay celebrated as India's first openly transgender college principal (May)

      • First ad featuring two lesbians in India

      • Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, started offering "Others" option in the gender column of the application form. Due to the efforts of Gopi Shankar of Srishti Madurai and the student community at JNU

      • Srishti Madurai urged Lok Sabha MP's to include intersex people in a bill to protect the rights of trans people

      • Film: First ever movie on Pakistan’s hidden LGBT community: Poshida: Hidden LGBT Pakistan

      • LABIA (formerly Stree Sangam) celebrates 20 years

      • The "Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014" was passed by the Rajya Sabha

      • Magazine: Bombay Dost 2015 | Editor: Ashok Rao Kavi

        Bombay Dost 2015

      • Book: Me Hijra Me Laxmi | Author: Laxmi | Translator: R. Raj Rao & P.G. Joshi

        Me Hijra Me Laxmi

  • 2016

      • Film: Aligargh

      • On Feb 2, 2016 the Supreme Court of India referred the curative petitions against 377 to a five-judge Constitution Bench

      • Magazine: Bombay Dost 2016 | Editor: Ashok Rao Kavi

        Bombay Dost 2016

      • Magazine: TSQ -Transgender Studies Quarterly - Volume 3 - November 2016 Translating Transgender (Duke UP)
        Special Issue | Editor: David Gramling & Aniruddha Dutta

        Translating Transgender

      • Delhi: Communities of belonging A book of photographs by Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh

        Delhi COB-BackCover.jpgDelhi: Communities of Belonging - FrontCover

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