Sukhdeep's work at Gaylaxy stands out for its commitment to amplifying the voices often overlooked in mainstream narratives—the rural queer voices. In a landscape where the focus tends to favor upper-class queer gay men, Sukhdeep ensures that the stories of rural queer individuals find a rightful place. He also considers it his duty to help those who need support and guidance navigating family and society because of their identities. In this conversation with us, he unpacks how he manages Gaylaxy while simultaneously doing a full-time job. He also shares his view on queer stories in media and advises writers to educate themselves and be sensitive while writing about queer lives.

It was very encouraging for me that I was able to personally help someone.

Talking about the stories he receives through Gaylaxy, Sukhdeep shares two instances that shook him. One instance involved a Sikh teenager seeking help as his parents attempted to change his sexuality through disturbing therapies. Sukhdeep intervened by connecting the teen with supportive activists and facilitating a shift to a more understanding mental health professional. The transformation in the teenager's life underscores the tangible impact of Sukhdeep's work.

Another poignant story revolved around a survivor of sexual abuse – a boy who was abused by his father for many years – who found solace in sharing his story through Gaylaxy. Sukhdeep not only provided a platform for the survivor but also connected him with counselors in Bangalore, leading to a journey from despair to empowerment. Sukhdeep's dedication to storytelling goes beyond mere publication—it embodies a genuine commitment to effecting positive change in the lives of those who trust Gaylaxy with their truths.

Sukhdeep places a strong emphasis on the responsibility that comes with storytelling. Before a story goes public, he ensures individuals are aware of potential repercussions. Gaylaxy, to him, is more than a storytelling platform—it's a conduit for advocacy and support. Each narrative, carefully curated and shared, represents a step towards breaking the isolation felt by queer individuals.

At Gaylaxy, it's not just about publishing stories but also creating a network of support.

Drawing from his journey of self-discovery, Sukhdeep recognizes the pivotal role that stories played in easing the isolation he felt as a queer individual. Inspired by this impact, he founded Gaylaxy, a haven where queer people could access stories that resonated with their experiences.

While Sukhdeep dedicates himself to Gaylaxy as a passion project alongside his primary professional commitments, he acknowledges the emotional toll that advocacy in the realm of social justice, particularly queer rights, can exact. The dual responsibilities demand significant mental and emotional energy, leading to moments of despair and prompting Sukhdeep to take breaks for self-care.

While mainstream media is making progress, they're still not up to the mark.

Reflecting on the evolution of queer media over the past decade, Sukhdeep notes positive shifts in mainstream media's coverage of queer stories. Sensitivity has grown, and queer narratives receive more attention today than in the past, he says. However, challenges persist, with mainstream media occasionally perpetuating insensitivity and adhering to preconceived narratives. The democratization of queer media, propelled by platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, has further widened the scope for individuals to share their stories.

Sukhdeep also imparts valuable advice to writers delving into queer stories. He emphasizes the importance of self-education, urging writers to understand the intricacies and sensitivities of queer narratives. Sukhdeep advocates for open-mindedness and a genuine desire to connect with the subjects. To queer writers, he extends an invitation to embrace diversity, to express their innermost feelings, and to contribute to a narrative that transcends stereotypes.

Even in tragedy, queer people learn to live their joyously, and queer stories should reflect that.

Sukhdeep challenges the prevailing trend of tragic portrayals in queer fiction. While acknowledging the existence of challenges, he encourages writers to explore the joyous aspects of queer lives. The narrative of queer individuals, he argues, is not solely defined by tragedy but encompasses a rich tapestry of experiences, both poignant and celebratory.

In Sukhdeep Singh, we encounter a pragmatic advocate, a storyteller driven by compassion, and a guardian of voices that often remain unheard. Through his work with Gaylaxy, Sukhdeep continues to shape a narrative that is not just about the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community but also about resilience, empowerment, and the vibrant spectrum of human experience.

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