As I get ready to send this book out into the world, it brings a moment
of pause, an opportunity to reflect on the journeys the book represents.
One journey began when I first came across a brief blurb in 2002 that an
organization called Naz Foundation had launched a public interest litiga-
tion against the antisodomy law in India. On the road, I came into con-
tact with new communities, traveled to new sites and ventured into new
arenas of fieldwork, which collectively inform the critiques of states and
governance that are the focus of this book. Yet, even as this book draws
to a close, the other journey, to decriminalize homosexuality, remains
unfinished. The appeals to the Supreme Court are underway and it is
unclear how and when the court will weigh in on the 2013 ruling uphold-
ing the antisodomy law. More heartening, though, the broader struggle
for sexual and gender justice, of which the legal campaign against the
antisodomy law was just one aspect, continues more energetically than
ever before.
In many ways, this book could not have existed without the input of
the people who are part of this broader struggle, especially those who
proceed with the understanding that undoing the social injustices of sex-
ual orientation are contingent on undoing the harms of caste and class
inequalities, religious discrimination, nationalisms, racialisms, gender
hierarchies, and intolerances of gender expression. Indeed, this book
takes inspiration from them. It is always a pleasure to be in conversation
with Arvind Narrain—something to learn, something to share. Gautam
Bhan has consistently supported this project; Alok Gupta’s sharp and
critical bent has been refreshing. In Delhi I was fortunate to have the
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