HYDERABAD: Hyderabadis who believe in an inclusive society may soon get to read some LGBTQ literature. Author Aparna Thota, known for writing mountain climber Malavath Poorna’s biography last year, will now be co-authoring a series of stories for some vernacular publications and compile them into a book in less than three months. “Vishnu Tej,a gay activist and I are part of this project,” Aparna adds.
“The stories are all from the LGBTQ people. We all know how the queer community barely has any writings about their choices, idealogy and life. These stories came to the fore after we held a two-day online writing workshop titled Sex, sexuality and gender –Conversations on literature’ for the community,” says Aparna. The writings will trace their journeys across various age groups, from 10-2- where they are not aware of their sexuality, from 20-30 years where they get a hang of it and later when they try to get into the mainstream life. Trans activist Rachana Mudraboyina, and Tashi, an intersex person, Kondaveeti Sathyavathi from Bhumika Collective were instrumental in organising the writing workshop to help the community communicate their thoughts better.
Aparna says that they are still testing waters on how readers will take these writings in different local magazines, The stories will be graphic, about their early romance, first hug, first kiss and we need to see how they will respond to these true life stories. This post graduate social work graduate from St Francis has been at the forefront of getting the marginalised voices heard in the mainstream and getting gay literature published is also part of her idealogy.
Aparna was also the one who helped in publishing of the lambada book Balder Bandi of Ramesh Karthik and believes that literature, especially that of the marginalised communities, should not just focus only on the poverty or discrimination but about their culture, perspectives, rituals and traditions. “If more such writings need to reach the mainstream reader, the writing should be rich in content and in an engaging style.”For now, Aparna and her co-author are brainstorming on the next story they can write and let the readers know.
— Manju Latha Kalanidhi