Stories: All

  • Kissing On The Dancefloor of Horoom

    The beats pulsing from techno music force the walls to shudder as smoky air dances through green support beams in the underground space. Dim stars seemingly sway across that dark dancefloor, but these are the cigarettes. Everyone is smoking. This is Horoom, a secret underground queer rave in Tbilisi, a city that is known for its homophobia. It is a...

  • Meet Our Newest Fellows

    The International Reporting Project is awarding fellowships to report on three different topics around the world. The deadline to apply for the gender/LGBTI rights and religion reporting fellowships for fall and winter travel is rolling. The application for peacebulding and conflict resolution in Africa is closed and fellows have been selected.               ...

  • Suharto Museum Celebrates Dictator’s Life, Omitting Dark Chapters

    KEMUSUK, Indonesia — Indonesia’s former dictator looms in bronze over the entrance to the small museum set amid the palm trees and emerald rice fields of central Java. Depicted in a military uniform and peaked officer’s cap, he radiates calm authority over the village of his birth. To many, the New Order government that Suharto led...

  • Ghosts of Pogroms Past Haunt Indonesia

    JAKARTA — Nearly two decades after anti-Chinese riots tore through this part of Indonesia’s capital, one busy road still bears the scars. Amid the clamor of heat and traffic of Glodok, Jakarta’s Chinatown, a row of shop-houses lies abandoned, an octagonal feng shui tile still attached to a bricked-up window. Across the street, through locked steel...

  • The Church of Duterte

    On July 22, the Philippine Congress extended the martial law, which was first enacted in May, on the southern island of Mindanao for an additional five months. The army continues to battle militants inspired by the Islamic State (also called ISIS) in the regional city of Marawi, and the extension—coupled with the bellicose rhetoric of President Rodrigo Duterte&rsquo...

  • Taking Back the Internet for Pakistani Women

    When you buy pads or tampons in Pakistan, grocery-store owners double-bag the purchases, ostensibly so people on the street can't see what lies within layers of brown-paper bags. This culture of secrecy and shame around women's lives and bodies is an apt parallel of life for women in Pakistan. Conversations about everything from sex lives to physical...

  • Scenes From Central Asia’s Forever War

    OSH, Kyrgyzstan — Tall and slender, “Muhammad” sits underneath a fast-spinning ceiling fan in a small teahouse in southern Kyrgyzstan as he nervously asks to be identified with a pseudonym. Earlier this year, Kyrgyzstan’s security service, the GKNB, and local police officers detained and questioned him and some of his friends. They asked about their alleged...

  • The Omnipresence of Dust in Kathmandu

    It's the middle of winter, and the wards of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in downtown Kathmandu, Nepal, are full of people who can't breathe. On the third-floor pediatrics ward, Basanta K.C. balances his baby daughter, Bursa, in his right arm and deftly threads a narrow plastic tube into her nostrils. As she struggles for air, her...

  • Gay and Undocumented, Burmese Refugees Struggle in Thailand

    “Queer migrants” or LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) refugees from Myanmar – called as such because they had to leave their countries and go somewhere else to be able to live safely as themselves – have looked at Thailand as the ideal destination, with its louche, gay-friendly lifestyle. But in too many cases, in the...

  • Lesbians in Senegal just want a place where they can be themselves

    It is not easy to find gay women in Senegal. Homosexuality is illegal in the country, though several small LGBT rights groups operate there. But because they were founded during the AIDS crisis and considered as actors in keeping down HIV infection rates, they are focused on men. Lesbian women are now starting to fight for recognition, both in the...