Have you ever felt different?
Like you didn’t quite fit in?
I know that feeling. Very well actually.
Growing up, I quickly realised that I was different from the other boys. And while it took me a while to find the word for it (queer), it wasn’t easy growing up in a world that felt you like you didn’t belong.
And this is despite having parents who encouraged me to dream and think big. My Appa and Amma told me that I could be anything I wanted to be and live a good life.
And yet I struggled to imagine how I could live a good life (the kind I wanted) and be queer.
Thankfully, the Internet helped initially. But eventually even that was not enough, as I didn’t really see people who looked LIKE me.
Queer. Indian. Living in Malaysia. With similar hopes and dreams.
And so I started writing those stories myself.
Started charting that roadmap just for me.
And it all started with WHAT IF?
WHAT IF I could be a full time father to kids of my own and have them grow up in Malaysia?
WHAT IF I could be married to the man of my dreams and start a family with my husband?
WHAT IF I could love, be loved, be happy and actually live a great life?
Now I don’t know how that is going to happen. And I can imagine there is going to be a lot of figuring it out as I go along.
But I am no longer happy with someone else telling me what was possible for my life.
I hope this website, this home, this space allows you that same grace. To join me in reimagining what it means to be queer and Malaysian.
P.S. Do you trust me? Because if you do, I can promise it’s going to be one heck of a magic carpet ride.
Love + Hugs,
DHINESHA KARTHIGESU is the first and current reigning Malaysia National Poetry Slam Champion.
Crowned at the Georgetown Literary Festival 2018, he is a storyteller, writer and coach.
His work which aims to explore the concepts of love and identity, has toured Peninsular Malaysia and has been seen in Penang, Johor, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur.
He has also been published in KL’s first spoken word anthology ‘When I Say Spoken, You Say Word’
Dhinesha was most recently the co producer and artistic director of The Human Exhibit: Sex&Gender (I’M Entertainment, 2019) and the book writer and lyricist for the 16th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2019.
Previous credits include: co producer and co curator of The Human Exhibit: Mentalhealth (I’M Entertainment, 2018), playwright of Silk & Strings: The Truth of Bullying (I’M Entertainment, 2017) and cast of Malaysia Throws Herself A Birthday Party (Speak City Asia & theatrethreesixty, 2017)
His previously held title was that of Causeway Exchange Poetry Slam Champion 2017, having beat Singapore as team captain.