Top 25 LGBTQI+ Magazines and Zines from India/Asia

Authentic and alternate: LGBTQI+ Writing in india and the rest of asia
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The pride movement took off in the 60s and 70s. With it, came forth magazines and publications that would come to archive voices, experiences, and the social change. Words poured here, insights shared, norms questioned — until the written word began a movement of its own. These glossy print editions or stuffed newsletters were building an informed consciousness, driving home one key idea: that LGBTQI+ rights were unequivocally human rights. 

It’s a different century, a different decade. What started as a dribble has emerged into a sea of change. Progress has varied across continents and socio-cultural discourse. Asian society, in particular, has been steeped in political dissent. Ideas about gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be misunderstood; fluidity and freedom to love treated with disdain; and religious/cultural doctrines misinterpreted.

Stray too far from binary gender standards and one would be treated as deviant, an anomaly deserving punishment. Nations like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia have a formidable record of homophobia and transphobia – where many activists have been jailed and worse, killed. 

But the movement towards equity and inclusivity hasn’t lost steam. In the last decade, magazines, zines, newsletters, and independent websites have emerged to shape the LGBTQI+ discourse in their own voices. These publications are cultivating a sense of community and safety, educating and informing the public consciousness, giving a platform to creative expression, and destigmatising a conversation that warrants a place in civil society. ‘Love is love is love’ becomes a rallying cry, a resilient beam, and the ultimate truth these publications swear by.

Here is a list of independent publications — zines, magazines, websites – that are representing the LGBTQI+ voice with luminosity and valiance. The idea of pride has never been more accessible, democratic, and inspired.

By Saumya K


The Bombay Review
Estd. 2014 | New York / Mumbai

Call for submissions! While not a dedicated queer magazine, The Bombay Review also publishes LGBTQ+ themed editions. 

Writers in Vol I (2020): Despy Boutris, J. Mueter, Geri Gale, S. Crystal Bacon, Amelia Brown, Shailee R, Robert Beveridge, among others.

We are now reading for Volume II: Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Art, Reviews. Solicited entries are paid $50 per contribution. Submission details here.


5Kadak Collective

What would the comic scene look like with female representation? How do you create heroines? Thus formed a platform to voice observations from South Asia through graphic storytelling by womxn, LGBTQ+ and queer communities. Its anthology, Bystander, features 50+ artists, illustrators, designers, and writers from 13 countries, and is the first splash as they make waves in graphic storytelling, inspiration, and creativity.

Founder: Aarthi Parthasarathy, Aindri Chakraborty, Akhila Krishnan, Garima Gupta, Janine Shroff, Kaveri Gopalakrishnan, Mira Malhotra and Pavithra Dikshit
Theme: Gender, geography and borders, identity, and inclusion
Social Media: Instagram, Website, Twitter, Kickstarter
Format: Multimedia, zines
Year launched: 2016

“An ever-expanding group of creators, we work on self-authored projects and zines. Kadak means strong, severe, sharp — like our tea.”


20Outrage Magazine

Launched in 2007, Outrage Magazine is the only LGBT webzine in the Philippines. It constructs a safe space for the Filipino queer community and LGBTQI allies to express and assert their voices. The publication also conducts workshops and researches concerning the community’s interests.

Pitch ideas to: editor@outragemag.com
Editor: Michael David C. Tan
Theme: Minority issues, gender and sexuality, identity politics
Genre: Features, profiles, personal essays
Social Media: Website, Twitter, Instagram
Format: Online
Year launched: 2007

“We believe that LGBTQI voices need to be heard, particularly when mainstream media does not treat our issues the right way. And so we bring these issues up.”


16Burnt Roti Magazine

The magazines delves into representations of young womxn, South Asian womxn and queer womxn. Its third issue will look at anti-blackness in South Asian communities and will feature five mixed ethnicity creatives. As an archive of experiences and stories, the magazine hopes to destigmatise conversation around sexuality, mental health, and issues relating to the self. It also curates a directory of South Asian creatives for hire to showcase and encourage talent.

Submission guidelines

Editor: Sharan Dhaliwal
Theme: Gender and sexuality, women’s rights, mental health, identity and representation, colourism, racism
Genre: Interviews, short fiction, essays, reviews
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Patreon, Instagram
Format: Online
Year launched: 2012

“We do not want to offend, we just want to give opportunities to those who are otherwise cast aside in the world of writing.”


7Gaylaxy Magazine

Galylaxy was born out of a need to fill the lacuna of queer voices showcasing their triumphs and stories in India. The e-magazine is an archive of stories that impact the diversity of voices and a platform to campaign for queer visibility.

Send ideas to: editor@gaylaxymag.com 
Editor: Sukhdeep Singh
Theme: Gender, sexuality, identity, civil rights, current affairs
Genre: Personal essays, features, news stories, more
Social Media: Twitter, Website
Format: Online
Year launched: 2010

“…we are still trying to bring out new facets, voice evolving concerns and simultaneously learn about the fascinating diversity of the queer community.”


18Gaysi Family

Gaysi is a portmanteau of ‘gay’ and ‘desi’, two things that are still blending in the broader culture. It regularly publishes stories online for, by, and of the South Asian queer community to nurture social expression. Anything from text, graphic to interactives. What started as an online forum turned into a print magazine, the Gaysi Zine, in 2011 in the hopes to expand the reach of the queer movement as widely as it can. The publication is a movement in itself — a melange of love, art, and resilience.

Submission guidelines

Editor: Sakshi & Jo
Theme: Gay rights, LGBTQ+ voices, queer perception and Indian cultural norms, pop culture, gender and identity
Genre: Opinion, personal essays, fiction, graphic novels and comics, poems, reviews, news stories
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Instagram
Format: Online blog and print
Year launched: 2008

“Our stories will be written for those who still believe that they are the ones who are different.”


17Fifty Shades of Gay

FSOG’s novelty lies in its mission: to destigmatise all that India hides in time-honoured taboos. It encourages conversation on the likes of family planning, safe-sex practices, LGBTQIA+ identity and stories — often treated as conversational pariahs in the social context. The website documents stories, encourages conversation by putting up factsheets and FAQs, and has a helpline for personal support.

Mail: getinvolved@fifityshadesofgay.co.in
Founder: Shubham Mehrotra
Theme: Sexual identity, safe-sex practice, family planning, gender
Genre: Personal essays, reviews, news, interviews
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Facebook
Format: Online blog
Year launched: 2016

“Fifty Shades of Gay believes in a fair and equal India where everyone can achieve their full potential, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.”


14Varta 

The Varta webzine is a part of Varta Trust and was launched as a campaign to encourage dialogue around gender and sexuality. As a multilingual publication, it weaves together the diversity in the Indian landscape and helps them access stories of and from the LGBTQ+ community. The Trust conducts training, research, policy and media advocacy under its banner.

Submission guidelines

Board of Trustees: Pawan Dhall, Kaushik Gupta, Madhuja Nandi
Theme: Gender equity, sexual identity, diversity and inclusion, identity and expression, health, human rights, environmental issues
Genre: Personal essays, interviews, critical commentary, reviews, poems, fiction, travelogues
Social Media: Facebook, Website, Twitter
Format: Webzine and online blog
Year launched: 2012


4Queer Chennai Chronicles

QCC is imagining the queer community through a regional lens and distilling it through the world of literature. The literary forum held Chennai’s first queer literary festival, organises an independent film festival, published a book, and launched its bilingual e-zine, paalputhu pakkangkal. It is looking for voices that can help bring out a queer-centric narrative.

Submission guidelines

Founders: Moulee C and Violet LJ  
Theme: Gender, sexuality, social and cultural expression, LGBTQ community, anti-caste values, racism
Genre: Fiction, poems, art, non-fiction, reported features
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Instagram
Format: E-zine
Year launched: 2017


21In Plainspeak

A digital magazine of NGO TARSHI, In Plainspeak is a dialogue between people in the global south about sexual and reproductive rights. It started as a print publication in 2005 and has since evolved into a webzine, with discussion and knowledge creation around socially-vetoed topics. The bilingual zine brings out two issues with a unifying theme each month. Like TARSHI, it is creating a safe, inclusive, and sexually-affirming discourse.

Submission guidelines

Founders: Anisha Dutt, Radhika Chandiramani, Shikha Aleya 
Theme: Sexuality, social stigma, awareness and perspective, reproductive rights, disability, sex work
Genre: Interviews, reviews, personal essays, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, short films, podcasts, artwork and illustrations
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Facebook
Format: E-zine
Year launched: 2005

“…highlighting how sexuality intersects with various aspects of our daily lives.”


23Scripts

As a queer zine, Scripts lives up to empowering the queer female voice and much more. The publication was launched as a campaign by Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action (Labia) Collective, a watershed organisation in LBT activism in India. The publication along with the autonomous, Bombay-based collective has weaved a space for cultural and creative expression. It cultivates multiple conversations around social justice and queer identity.

Submission guidelines

Editor: Unknown
Theme: Gender, sexuality, social justice
Genre: Fiction, poem, personal essays, comic strips, illustrations, social commentary
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Facebook
Format: E-zine
Year launched: 1998


15Orinam 

The website is the digital arm of a grassroots collective started by queer men in Tamil Nadu. Orinam is all about inclusivity, as the ‘o’ rounds in the luminous spectrum of gender and sexual orientations. The website is a one-stop shop for resources, advocacy material, archive of protests, and also houses the blog, Our Voices. It regularly publishes stories about the LGBTQIA+ community, their allies, and social interaction in Tamil Nadu.

Contact 

Theme: Human rights, LGBTQIA+ representation, gender and sexuality, South Indian diaspora 
Genre: Personal essays, poetry, fiction, articles, podcast, interviews
Social Media: Website, Twitter, Facebook
Format: Online
Year launched: 2006

“Hues may vary, but humanity does not: This line stresses the notion of sameness across difference, or unity in diversity, a cornerstone of India’s national aspiration and basis for the LGBTIQA+ struggle for equality.”


13Swakanthey

Sappho for Equality, an activist forum for lesbians, women, and trans rights, is inspired by the Greek lyric poet. It is of little wonder then that its bi-annual publication would be rightly titled Swakanthey, or “In her own voice”. The bilingual six-page newsletter is published in January and June every year, and is an articulation of LBT expression and advocacy of their rights. It is distributed across the hallowed halls of Kolkata International Book Fair each year.

For contribution, mail: sappho1999@gmail.com

Editor: Subhagata Ghosh
Theme: Sexuality, queer narratives, reproductive rights, sexual education, gender identity
Genre: Fiction, poems, academic articles, non-fiction, interviews, illustrations, comic strips
Social Media: Website
Format: Print
Year launched: 2004

“In Our Own Voice is a movement by itself both in the field of sexuality rights in India and little magazine in Kolkata.”


2Roopban

The Bangladeshi social discourse beams with strict gender roles and heteronormative ideals. As LGBTQ+ movements gain momentum at the grassroots, Roopban has cultivated a legacy of courage. It made history with its first-ever print magazine advancing their mission of “freedom to love”. The founders of the autonomous body were assassinated by extremists as they campaigned for gender diversity. Yet, the movement has been relentless in its struggle. The magazine has evolved into an online community blog that explores gender and sexuality in a society in transition. The archive published a queer poetry book in 2015, Roop Gonti, and a collection of letters from the LGBTQI+ community, Iti Roopban, is expected to be released soon. 

Submission guidelines

Theme: Gender and sexuality, violence, social oppression, identity politics, human rights
Genre: Essays, opinions, poems, personal narratives, photos
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Instagram
Format: Print and online
Year launched: 2014

“We believe that we must come together as a community, build strong networks, and create platforms to voice important issues relevant to the advancement of the Bangladeshi LGBT+ community.”


1Equality Magazine

Equality has been described as the first archive of LGBTQI+ lifestyle in Sri Lanka. Launched under the NGO banner of Equal Ground, the quarterly magazine furthers its mission of ensuring socio-cultural rights and political equity in Sri Lanka. 

Mail for contributions: media@equalgroundsrilanka.com

Founder: Rosanna Flamer-Caldera 
Theme: Human rights, LGBTQI+ representation, gender and sexuality, civil society, legal aid
Genre: Personal essays, interviews, reviews, poems, short stories
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Facebook
Format: Online blog
Year launched: 2016

“Our goals are to make the lives of LGBTIQ persons in Sri Lanka meaningful and free from stigma and discrimination.”


19Element Magazine

A bi-monthly in Singapore, Element is dubbed as the one-stop shop for the Asian LGBTQ+ community. It delves deeper into the gender diverse narrative — featuring stories about lifestyle and personhood of queer voices across Asia. It is also Singapore’s leading men’s magazine. 

Pitch ideas to: edit@elementmag.asia

Editor: Noel Ng
Theme: Asian LGBT community, lifestyle, fashion, LGBT rights, personal grooming
Genre: Features, interviews, news stories
Social Media: Website, Twitter
Format: Online
Year launched: 2013

“It brings the Asian gay community together with contents that are closely associated with their lives.”


3Mondro

The queer community in Bangladesh is in the midst of a menacing social movement. As a queer cultural organisation, Mondro describes itself is the first and largest queer archive in Bangladesh. It directs attention towards the spectrum of gender, non-conformity, and fluidity. The archive includes resource creation, online blog, and advocacy tools. In August this year, it launched its first webzine in Bangla titled Thahor, which translates to contemplation. 

Submission guidelines

Theme: Gender, sexuality, queer identity, conflict, social oppression, activism, violence, gender discrimination 
Genre: Personal essays, non-fiction, videos, illustrations, poems, short stories, translations, interviews, reviews
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Instagram
Format: E-zine and online blog
Year launched: 2019

“Recognize and give space to Bangladeshi queer lives that are forgotten and erased from dominant history.”


11South Asian Today

The autonomous organisation has one aim: to pass on the mic to South Asian women and non-binary individuals. And it does that with ingenuity and passion, using multimedia tools like videos and podcasts to create and engage. The inspired storytelling hopes to reflect the diversity of the South Asian subcontinent.

Submission guidelines

Editors: Dilpreet Kaur Taggar and Tanja JV Singh
Theme: Identity and gender, health, and reproductive rights, popular culture, South Asian diaspora, socio-political issues, racism and caste
Genre: Videos, podcast, personal essay, interview, social commentary, poetry, photo essays
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Facebook
Format: Blog and newsletter
Year launched: 2020

“As an inclusive space, our goal is to solidify diversity within our own communities and pass on the mic to those who have not been given enough chances to tell their stories.”


Some more web zines and magazines: Upcoming / Recently established

Theme: Perspectives of women, LGBTQ+, non-binary groups
Social Media: Website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Format: Online
Year launched: 2020

Theme: Human rights, free expression, Ambedkarite values, politics…
Social Media: Twitter, Website, Facebook
Format: Online blog
Year launched: 2019

Theme: Perception and narratives of South Asian LGBTQ+ community
Social Media: Website, Instagram, Twitter
Format: E-zine 
Year launched: 2018


Theme: Queer identity, South Asian diaspora, coming-out experiences
Social Media: Instagram, Website
Format: Newsletter
Year launched: 2020

Theme: Womxn and non-binary people, South Asian diaspora, gender & identity
Social Media: Instagram, Website, Twitter
Format: E-zine and online blog
Year launched: 2019

Theme: Gender, sexuality, politics of non-conformity, self-identity, LGBTQ+ rights
Social Media: Instagram, Website
Format: E-zine
Year launched: 2018


Theme: Queer identity, South Asia
Social Media: Website
Format: E-Zine
Year launched: 2019

Theme: Trans, intersex and/or non-binary art and experiences
Social Media: Instagram, Website
Format: E-zine and online blog
Year launched: Unknown

The list is in no particular order. Do you know of more websites, magazines, or zine that could be on the list? Drop the names and link in comments below. 

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