Facing the Mirror

Facing the Mirror

Lesbian Writing from India


A groundbreaking book where lesbians found their voice for the first time

For decades, most lesbians in India did not know the extent of their presence in the country: networks barely existed and the love they had for other women was a shameful secret to be buried deep within the heart. In Facing the Mirror, Ashwini Sukthankar collected hidden, forgotten, distorted, triumphant stories from across India, revealing the richness and diversity of the lesbian experience for the first time. Going back as far as the 1960s and through the forms of fiction and poetry, essays and personal history, this rare collection mapped a hitherto unknown trajectory.

In celebration of the Supreme Court's reading down of the draconian Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, this twentieth-anniversary edition, with a foreword by author and activist Shals Mahajan, brings to readers a remarkable history that illuminates the blood and the tears, the beauty and the magic of the queer movement in India. The raw anger and passion in them still alive, the writings in Facing the Mirror proudly proclaim the courage, the sensuality, the humour and the vulnerability of being lesbian.


428 Pages | ISBN13 9780143448570
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Ashwini Sukthankar
Ashwini Sukthankar
Ashwini Sukthankar was born in Mumbai in 1974, grew up in Papua New Guinea, and lived in India for many years. She currently works as a trade union activist with UNITE HERE, a union representing hotel and food service workers in the US and Canada. As director of Global Campaigns, her work involves close partnerships with labour movements all over the world, including in India. She remains proudly committed to all forms of queer and trans* liberation.
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