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5 Folks Share Their Experiences of Queer Joy

Experiences of Queer Joy

Have you ever experienced the sheer power of a drag queen's performance–the incredible energy they bring to a room with their infectious joy? Or the laughter and unbridled happiness shared among queer friends at a Pride celebration?

Can you recall that incredible moment when your trans partner felt like their true self wearing a binder for the first time, their face lighting up with gender euphoria?

In a world where the stories of struggle, invalidation, and erasure often threaten to eclipse the vibrant spirit of the queer community, there is an undeniable need to embrace the transformative force of joy. While anger is an important aspect of our community, so is celebration–and both are important tools in our protest arsenal.

So, in the spirit of Pride, let's have a moment to reflect on joy. It is a necessity—a catalyst for change, growth, and unapologetic self-expression. The fuel that propels us forward, breaking down barriers and reshaping societal norms. In this piece, we delve into narratives of joy within the queer community by speaking to five incredible individuals. And if you know Aunt Sassy, you know she’s an ally–and so be sure to check out our intimate massagers that are gender neutral and all about owning your pleasure!

What is Queer Joy?

Queer Joy is:

"a form of self love. A way to reclaim power and agency, and to create a space for ourselves where we can be seen, heard and celebrated."

Rishi Raj, 41
Male | Gay
Stylist & Brand Image Consultant


"being able to be my authentic self unapologetically without worrying about the impositions and restrictions the world tries to bind me in."

Aryan, 21
Non-binary | Queer
Content and Marketing Strategist


"helping the community. Being gay is not easy in India. I don't want anyone else to suffer for being who they are. Families should accept their queer children. It gives me joy when I am able to contribute in some way to this." 

Priyanshu Dhamija, 22
Gay
Businessman 

"being able to talk about my queerness with the people around me–as simple as being able to talk about a date I went on with another woman."

Sruthi, 29 
Female | Pansexual
Lawyer 

"wearing a saree and walking the pride march without unwanted attention."

Anon, 34
Queer and Fluid
Academic Scholar 

On Experiencing Queer Joy In Relationships 

"I feel queer joy in developing genuine connections and emotional intimacy between my partner and me–being able to be ourselves and show vulnerability, with the trust that the other person understands me and is going to be there regardless."

Aryan 

"In almost every romantic relationship that I've been in, I've felt queer joy. I've been extremely privileged to have experienced queer joy from when I was 14, and I'm grateful for it, and do my best to share it as far and wide as I can."

Rishi Raj

"In the amazing bonds and memories I made with my dates"

Priyanshu

On Feeling Queer Joy during Playtime

"The little things he did to make me feel comfortable."

Priyanshu 

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"When I realised a warm hug from my partner could be as intimate as a hookup. A long ride on a rainy evening with my boyfriend gives me as much euphoria as something more physical. And when I say physical, I mean NSA–no sex attached. I enjoy revelling in touch that doesn't escalate to a handjob or blowjob. Queer joy for me is being able to share moments of intimacy with my partners, without the focus on sex as a means of pleasure. "

Anon 

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"I got a chance to be in a threesome with another woman–a friend and someone he'd been seeing. I was nervous because I haven't been with many women, but I also wasn't sure if I'd ever meet a woman who would like me and would be interested in me intimately, so I didn't want to let this slip by.  We met at a pub, got buzzed and decided to go to her place.We drank some more and eventually we were all naked. It was very affirming to realise how comfortable I was with this situation. I went down on her and that's when I had a light bulb moment–I'm definitely queer. I enjoyed giving her pleasure and hearing her moan. To me gender doesn't matter, but I was also nervous about whether I'd actually like going down on a woman. And I was able to figure that out with this experience."

Sruthi 

How Can Allies Help Build A World with More Queer Joy

"To be a better ally, it's important to listen and learn from the experiences of queer people and celebrate their uniqueness and contributions. Showing appreciation for diversity helps create an environment that promotes acceptance and inclusivity, and in turn, queer joy!"

Rishi Raj

"Allies are crucial in creating a world where queer joy can flourish.  They can show support by being vocal about homophobia and transphobia,  actively listening and amplifying queer voices, and using their privilege to uplift the queer community."

Aryan 

"Being supportive doesn't mean expressing solidarity once a year, purchasing queer-made products, or services, and continuing to live one's life unaffected by the sexual abuse and discriminations. It boils down to caring about real causes like young trans people who have been abandoned by their families, funding their education and helping them become employable. It needs more than attending Pride events with the flag. 'Inclusiveness' and 'solidarity' are terms that tend to be used very superficially. Allies sometimes can't accept their own family and loved ones as queer, despite being overtly supportive towards the community."

Anon 

"I would suggest that any non-queer person make efforts to learn where the shame associated with being queer comes from, so they can actually understand to some level what we face. Largely, the shame has been imposed on us as a consequence of colonisation. The rhetoric that being queer isn't Indian or Hindu started making an appearance in daily life after the Britishers came here and criminalised queerness. In Hinduism, you have a god that's half male and half female–you have the kamasutra that has depictions of queer sex. There's a lot of harmful narratives that have been built that need to be broken. Don't just march with me during pride to participate. Understand why you're marching with me."

Sruthi

In essence, queer joy reverberates as an unwavering strength radiating from the LGBTQ+ community's core. We hope that reading the experiences of these wonderful people has provided you with a deeper understanding of queer joy, served as a reminder of your own cherished moments of queer joy that you might have experienced, or even inspired you to hold on to the hope of a more loving world for us all.

To our allies, we want you to know that we need your support and advocacy now more than ever. We hope like our pain, our joy too helps you realise what we need to fight. Let’s pave the way to an existence where all of us get to experience queer joy, more and more. Happy Pride, folks!

----

About the Author 

Anna (she/they) is a queer and neurodivergent. They have always been curious about pleasure and conversations around it (and wanted to found a condom company when they were 12, because of Global North misinformed panic that the climate crisis is a consequence of overpopulation–they’ve learnt better now). They wish to contribute to a world where everyone can enjoy access to pleasure, safely and shamelessly. 

 

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