queer literature

A spiritual and sensual prayer

“To avoid pain some resort to drinking or drugs, others to social media or sex. With silence, slowing down, awareness and compassion something else might happen. And this is what the narrator in the story eventually does. After fleeting chats and hookups, overconsumption of chocolate and Netflix, he goes to a silent retreat.”

I was recently interviewed in the Bangalore Mirror about my latest book
Taste and See. A Queer Prayer.

Read the full interview here

Taste and see. A queer prayer


Together with my friend and fellow writer, Stefan Storm, I have established an Oslo-based, queer-owned publisher, Mohini Books

We are proud to present this first publication.
Taste and see is a story in the form of a poem about a gay man’s quest for love in the world of dating apps and random sex. He explores a relationship that is both spiritual and sensual. But what are we willing to do for love? What are we willing to give up?

Orlando, mi amor

Orlando, mi amor,

I heard, about the shooting. Sorry I didn’t get in touch sooner.

They say the gunman had seen you kiss.

It made me think of us again. Those tentative first touches, your smell, hearts racing. But outside the bed so brutal, my silly rationalizations: Public displays of affection are just vulgar, I said, it’s not about being less gay. 

Lo siento, mi amor. Of course it was. About being less gay. About the terror. I was terrified when you tried to kiss me at the station.

And then te acuerdas, that time I fell asleep on the bus, my head resting on your shoulder? I woke up to an angry voice, I did wake up, that white guy yelling at us, perverts, burn in hell, you yelling back. Hearts racing. I kept my eyes shut, pretending to still be asleep, only later asking qué pasó?

Lo siento, mi amor. I’ve been so proud of you. And I’ve been so ashamed of myself, for not fighting more, fighting for our love. 

But now, writing this, I also see that eyes closed pretending to sleep, I at least remained with my head on your shoulder. At least I did that. While you yelled back. I hope you felt that. 

And next time we meet, Orlando, for old times’ sake, for a future, let’s do a public display of affection. Hell, I’ll even sing your favorite song. Bésame, bésame mucho.

Also published on
qvakk.com and other queer lit sites

“Orlando, mi amor” My reading at appr 01:57, Open Xpressions 29 June 2016

Including the Queer in India

Diverse strategies have been employed to advance the cause of the queer Indian movement, including litigation and social and political mobilisation.

Read more in this
post on Gaylaxy magazine or the longer paper that it builds on.

From the conclusion:

“Emancipatory potential has been found in some traditional Indian norms as well as international human rights and domestic constitutional law and used in the battle against a remnant of colonial law. Litigation, social and political mobilisation, media attention and other factors have interacted and supported each other. Litigation started without waiting for popular and media support; in stead the process and outcome itself may have helped create such support. Litigation has also ended up being unsuccessful, however, due to the judges and other factors. Even so, it may still have contributed positively to the larger social and political mobilisation, as we saw after Koushal. While the combined result of the three landmark judgments is a complex and unclear legal situation for queer Indians, overall we seem to be moving in the direction of strengthened rights in the legal as well as the wider political and social contexts.”

Engagement - short film script

Pink Pages, an Indian LGBT magazine, has published a film script I wrote.

Engagement by Vikram Kolmannskog is a story of two young gay lovers - one Hindu and the other Muslim - and how they seek to overcome the odds they face in the small town they call home.”

And an Indian director is interested in making a film based on it!

Engagement, Pink Pages, December 2012 (Short film script)