Homeless: Growing Up Lesbian and Dyslexic in India (2023)

Published by Simon & Schuster and Yoda Press

After discovering she’s lesbian and dyslexic at 20, Vaishali begins to untangle her anxieties around reading and writing. She comes out to her mother at 22 and leaves her Bombay home to make her own way. In a dingy, insect-ridden yet rent-free hostel room in Hyderabad with a door that doesn’t quite close, she tries to make the best of the situation by writing a book about her experiences. As she writes, she finds the past has a way of catching up with her, even as she explores her dyslexia, homosexuality, and the clitoris; falling in love and recovering from a harrowing breakup; academic failure, loneliness, and homophobia; living with sickness, anxiety, depression, and her caste, gender, and body. This is the story of Vaishali’s relationship with her many truths and the truths of many young people in India.


About Homeless

After discovering she’s lesbian and dyslexic at 20, Vaishali begins to untangle her anxieties around reading and writing while she develops new anxieties from being closeted and living in a country that criminalized homosexuality at the time.

In 2015, at 22, she comes out to her mother which makes her leave her parent’s house in Bombay. She moves to Ahmedabad where she suffers a break-up and struggles with unemployment. When she can’t make rent, she is happy to join a Master’s programme at a public university in Hyderabad, where she can live rent-free in the hostel.

In Hyderabad, in the dingy, insect-ridden hostel room with a door that doesn’t quite close, she tries to make the best of the situation by writing a book about her experiences. But instead, she keeps writing about her past: discovering dyslexia, homosexuality, and the clitoris; falling in love and recovering from a harrowing breakup, academic failure, loneliness, and homophobia; living with sickness, anxiety, depression, and her caste, gender, and body. Her poignant and compelling writing explores her and her people’s relationship with her truth.


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December 29, 2022