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Krishnakumar, Jo (2022) 'Take a Look Inside: Exploring Closets as Fingerprints of the Queer Community.' In: Pain, Paromita, (ed.), LGBTQ Digital Cultures: A Global Perspective. New York: Routledge.

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The concept of “coming out” of a “closet” is an idea that has taken precedence in queer public life, personal narratives, and fictive stories as opposed to stories about queer life, joy and “normalcy.” This chapter follows the inception and growth of Almaarii, a digital graphic storytelling project I began to explore my own queerness, or the lack of it within popular culture of “acceptable queerness.” In this essay, I explore the existence of Almaarii as a space that offers comfort, as a space that reveals and conceals, a site of interior exclusion (Urbach, 1996) that shapes the way we experience the digital world as marginalized trans and queer people and perhaps moves toward the resnatching of our spaces for ourselves, away from the celebrations of pride months and rainbow capitalism (Roque & Horacio, 2011).

Item Type: Book Chapters
Additional Information: Almaarii is a 3-year long, ongoing anthropological exploration carried out by a trans activist and ethnographer with the sole aim of collecting narratives for queer South Asians about intersectional experiences of the ‘closet’. The proposed book chapter will follow the journey of over 170 people and closets who have been interviewed for this project, and the illustrations made from these descriptions. Closets have always been understood as unified experiences, but their complexity is explored by looking beyond the borrowed ‘closet’-Almaariis emerge as individual fingerprints of heterogenous experiences within the queer movement. What else could a closet be called? Would we have one at all? What does it look like? Is it always a space of pain, or can it be safe? Does ‘coming out’ always mean ‘being out’? The result of this project is a digital narrative of deeply embedded cultural markers and nuanced identities that inform the joys, traumas, and the experiences of being a queer person in South Asia. By creating a world of how these spaces look and are experienced by different people, the book chapter will theorise language, experience, and narrative identity in a seemingly postcolonial world where digital spaces have become public spaces of discussion, as a place to archive our joys and traumas, but also spaces where homes are built- in comment sections and across messages exchanged by strangers that might never meet.
Keywords: Queer Studies, Digital Ethnography, Trans Studies, Activism, Archives
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISBN: 9781032050003
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Pain, Paromita, (ed.), LGBTQ Digital Cultures: A Global Perspective. New York: Routledge, 2022, available online: Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 18:55

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