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A collection of oral histories
of LGBT persons

8. Giti Thadani

Giti Thadani A woman who just revved up a weatherbeaten truck and traveled
thousands of unchartered miles to discover hidden temples and
sculptures… a woman who tirelessly advocates preservation of
the Shakti tradition and Hindu iconography that is fast getting
buried under… a woman who was ready to lip lock with another
woman for the cover of a magazine in India in the mid 90s…
a woman who started the first lesbian organization 'Sakhi
Collective' way back in 1990… this woman is none other than
Giti Thadani, fearless, outspoken, radical and a trailblazer.
Giti is world renowned for her book 'Sakhiyani', which attempts
to uncover lesbian subtext in ancient Vedic and Sanskrit texts,
as well as her other books 'Moebius Trip'. Her recordings /
documentation of ancient paintings & sculptures that depict
same-sex love is a rich treasure trove for every historian
researching Indian LGBT history.

Vivek Anand

Concept, Interviews & Direction:
Sridhar Rangayan

project BOLO - vol1

Watch BOLO Video of Giti Thadani


Excerpts from BOLO Interview

Giti: I bought myself a truck, a pickup truck. This was in 1985.
I bought a second hand pickup truck, it was hardly anything…
and I said I want to travel India. I know Europe better than India
and that is ridiculous…

And when I started traveling around, then I realized this whole
view that I have been given of older Indian… and again I am
saying Indian as an umbrella term… because there are different
customs… anekta main ekta (unity in diversity), that's how I
would have described it. Because there are many many
common threads… so I can say it is just the principle of
diversity, but there are many connecting threads… Because
suddenly I was seeing in these temples, you know, not just
duality, homosexuality, everything, sexuality with animals, auto
sexuality, auto erotic, sensuousness… along with very abstract
motifs… So it was a highly worked out visual language.

My mother, she went crazy… You know, I have been six
months on the roads… and at time the phones didn't work.
There was hardly any STD . I am in the mountain, somewhere
in Kinnor… that time you needed a pass to go. There was no
tourism to any of these places. There was nobody there, no
hotels, nothing. So I traveled… I was a traveler. I knew that I
am different… and because of this difference, I had taken an
extremely radical choice… and then I just went on that path.
I think, in earlier times, the wandering poets / poetesses, they
did it their own way… I live in a modern world, I did it in my way.



India : Queer Ink
International : Amazon

Supported by
UNDP India
Produced by
The Humsafar Trust

Associate Producer
Solaris Pictures
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Adita BandopadhyayAshok Row KaviBetu SinghBindumadhav KhireDalip DaswaniGauri SawantGeeta KumanaGiti ThadaniHoshang MerchantJehangir Jani
LachiLaxmi Narayan TripathiManvendra Singh GohilNishaParmesh ShahaniR.Raj RaoRuth VanitaSaleem KidwaiShivananda KhanSunil Gupta


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