Cover Reveal: Gay Icons of India by Hoshang Merchant & Akshaya K. Rath

Here’s another exciting cover reveal for a book that is so important for us in this time and age. Called Gay Icons of India, written by Hoshang Merchant and Akshaya K. Rath, and published by Pan Macmillan India, this book is a celebration of 22 queer people who have been such inspirations that it’s hard to talk about LGBTQIA without talking about them.

Here’s what the exciting cover for this amazing book looks like:

Gay Icons of India_front cover

Gay Icons of India

Hoshang Merchant and Akshaya K. Rath

9789386215956 | PAN ǀ Rs 450 ǀ Paperback | July 10, 2019



‘Hoshang Merchant has gone boldly into a territory that was “out of bounds” in India till the historic ruling down of the dreaded Section 377. The narrative of Gay Icons of India is well paced, personal and insightful’ – Shobhaa De

‘India’s history is incomplete without acknowledging the millions of unspoken stories of the queer world. Gay Icons of India is symbolic of a way forward. “We’re here, we’re queer!’ – Keshav Suri



Fighting a relentless culture of discrimination and homophobia, India’s LGBTQ+ community is finally on the road to inclusion and acceptance. While there are still miles to go, the Supreme Court’s landmark reading down of Section 377 in September 2018 came as a battle hard-won for those who identify as gay.

In the wake of this watershed judgement, Gay Icons of India celebrates twenty-two extraordinary personalities from the queer community who have resisted injustices through their art and greatly aided LGBTQ+ social movements. From dancers and poets to writers and artists, Hoshang Merchant and Akshaya K. Rath pay homage to these inspirational figures who stand steadfastly for equal love and the right to be different.



Hoshang Merchant is the author of Yaraana: Gay Writing from India, Forbidden Sex, Forbidden Texts: New India’s Gay Poets and The Man Who Would Be Queen. A well-known poet and teacher, he has published over twenty books of poetry. He recently retired from the University of Hyderabad after for twenty-six years.

Akshaya K. Rath is Assistant Professor of English and teaches creative writing, gender and sexualities at NIT Rourkela. His book Secret Writings of Hoshang Merchant was published in 2016.

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