Maya Sharma


A feminist, Maya Sharma is a writer by accident and a queer activist by choice. Working at the grassroots, in Delhi resettlement colonies within the women’s movement, on issues of single women, organizing, and building a political identity, it was her intersectional vulnerability that brought the paper and pen together for her. She writes in Hindi and English.

She realized that the diversity amongst the single women concealed those ‘women who loved women.’ Her interest aroused, she began to notice these relationships even in her work in the national trade union. This was in the late 80s and early 90s, when all that could be done was whisper about same-sex relationships. Perhaps these observations and conversations paved the way for people like her to openly campaign against the ban on the film Fire in the winter of 1990.

From there on, an unchartered journey began for Sharma. She wrote a book on single women in Hindi, as well as a book—a first of its kind—called Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Underprivileged India (2006). She moved to Gujarat at a time when the voices of the queer community living in smaller towns, rural villages, and tribal areas were barely audible. Sharma decided to join Vikalp in Vadodara to work on the ground with people like her and not quite like her.

Black and white sketched rendering of Maya Sharma, wearing glasses and short hair