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Release 1: Book Club Apsaras

For our first-ever release, we wanted to recreate scenes from books that have left a profound impact on us. We examined Maan and Firoz's queerplatonic friendship in A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, David and Giovanni's hot and cold relationship in the quintessential book Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin, Samra Habib's We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir — a story about immigrants and Alok Vaid-Menon's Beyond the Gender Binary. Our primary focus has been on rewriting the narrative. Here, we have attempted to amplify the voices of queer South Asian people which are often silenced by white, cis-heteronormative stories within the mainstream. We want our community to feel seen. Representation is important.

A lot of hard work has gone into bringing our first release to life. Special thanks to Zelina for photographing and interviewing our community, Sohini for bringing our ideas to life and Shradha for their creative styling! We appreciate and thank you for your support. This would have been impossible without the involvement of the Toronto artists you see on-screen and folks who helped us behind the scenes. Cheers and शुक्रिया! ✨

“With everything in me screaming No! yet the sum of me sighed Yes.”

“You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you never can go back.” — James Baldwin

"Not everyone is equipped for activism in the traditional sense—marching, writing letters to officials—but dedicating your life to understanding yourself can be its own form of protest, especially when the world tells you that you don't exist.” ― Samra Habib, We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

“Representation is a critical way for people to recognize that their experiences—even if invisible in the mainstream—are valid.”

“What’s never questioned here is, whose standards of authenticity are we being held up to in the first place?”

“It’s not just that you internalize the shame; rather, it becomes you. You no longer need the people at school telling you not to dress like that; you already do it to yourself.” ― Alok Vaid-Menon, Beyond the Gender Binary

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