This book presents a new approach to the understanding of non-normative sexuality and gender transgressive modes in South Asia and South Asian diaspora. It reconceives sexual representation from the point of view of the theoretical, political and empirical trajectories of decolonization, provincialization and neoliberalism to look at the role of historical contingency, postcolonial sexual politics and gender and sexual diversity. The volume brings together anthropological, historical, material and political analyses around South Asian sexual politics by exploring a range of themes, including culture, class, ethnicity, identity, intersectionality, migration, borders, diaspora, modernity and cosmopolitanism across various local, regional and global contexts.

By using southern/non-Western and subaltern theorizations of gender and sexuality, the book discusses South Asian sexualities through issues such as the sexual politics of indeterminacy; sexual subculture, iconography and political decision-making; religious identity; queer South Asian diaspora; decolonizing the postcolonial body; sexual politics, gender and feminist debates; discrimination, and socio-political violence; the political economy of empowerment; and critical appropriation of the 377 Indian Penal Code. It also builds forms of dialogues to bridge the gap between academic and development practitioners.

With diverse case studies and a fresh theoretical framework, this book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of South Asian studies, gender studies, sexuality studies, sociology and social anthropology, political studies, diaspora studies, postcolonial and global south studies.

chapter |20 pages


ByAhonaa Roy

part Part I|114 pages

Colonial Knowledge and Postcolonial Multiplicities

chapter 1|17 pages

Religion, Ritual Power, Exclusion and Marginality

Gender-transgressive Shivashaktis in Telangana, Southern India
ByPushpesh Kumar, M. Archana Rao

chapter 2|21 pages

Uncertain Grammars, Ambiguous Desires

Towards a sexual politic of indeterminacy in Sri Lanka
ByThemal Ellawala

chapter 3|23 pages

Twenty-five years after Dominic D’Souza

What happens when your queer icon refuses to be?
ByR. Benedito Ferrão

chapter 4|15 pages

The Iconography of Hindu(ized) Hijras

Idioms of hijra representation in Northern India
ByArpita Phukan Biswas

chapter 5|36 pages

“A Normal Person Cannot Be Made Queer” 1

The immorality act (amendment) commission of 1968 in apartheid South Africa
ByVasu Reddy

part Part II|72 pages

Colonial Knowledge and Postcolonial Multiplicities

chapter 6|23 pages

“I Want a Yaar”

Pakistani Muslim American gay men and transnational same-sex sexual cultures in the West
ByAhmed Afzal

chapter 7|20 pages

Decolonizing the Postcolonial Body in Diasporic Time and Space

South Asians in the Caribbean
ByKrystal Nandini Ghisyawan

chapter 8|18 pages

Intersectionality and South Asian Non-Normative Sexualities

The case of South Asian lesbians and bisexual women in the United Kingdom
ByAnna Fry, Surya Monro, Vicki Smith

chapter 9|9 pages

Trans/Queer South Asian Diaspora in the United Kingdom

Whose “Regimes of the Normal” does “Queer” critique?
ByShamira A. Meghani

part Part III|90 pages

Global Economization of Sexualities and Gender Transgressing Politics

chapter 10|16 pages

Trans South

Practical bases for trans internationalism
ByRaewyn Connell

chapter 11|21 pages

On the Limits and Possibilities of LGBTI Politics

Contextualizing socio-political violence and political transitions in South America
ByJosé Fernando Serrano-Amaya

chapter 12|14 pages

Understanding Gender in Nepal

Concepts and practices
ByGyanu Chhetri

chapter 13|23 pages

Operationalizing the “New” Pakistani transgender citizen

Legal gendered grammars and trans frames of feeling
BySara Shroff

chapter 14|14 pages

The political economy of empowerment

Microfinance, middle class and the sexual subculture in contemporary Bangladesh
ByAhonaa Roy