June 1, 2022
For decades, queer people in countries with social and systemic transphobia and homophobia have risked their lives to nurture underground LGBTQ networks, so community members can have small pockets of safety to be themselves in South Asia and its diaspora. In several South Asian countries, same-sex relationships are still punishable by law. But things are slowly, yet surely looking up. Nepal — arguably the most LGBTQ-friendly country in South Asia — decriminalized same-sex relationships in 2007, and India followed suit 11 years later. Pakistan and Sri Lanka introduced anti-transphobia laws in the last decade. The most recent update comes from Bhutan, which also legalized same-sex relationships. However, even with laws in place, queer and trans citizens still face violence and battle social stigma. In honor of Pride Month 2022, we bring you some of our best coverage about queer Brown history, culture, and icons. Want to know about how Pakistani trans women are using TikTok to celebrate their lives and take up space? How about a dissection of why Freddie Mercury’s Brownness was stripped from his image in the media? We’ve got you. Here are 15 stories you can bookmark now and read throughout the month to polish up on your queer South Asian knowledge.