Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a lesbian writer of essays, fiction, and pop culture criticism. She is an upcoming fellow for Lambda Literary's Writer's Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. Her work appears or is forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Cut, Vice, Autostraddle, and Catapult.


Cover Photo: A black and white photo of a filing cabinet. One drawer is open and the files and records inside appear in color.
Learning to Delete the Old Versions of My Digital Self

For a long time, I believed you had to keep these records. I knew so little about who I was and what I wanted.

Cover Photo: A screenshot of the actors Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, playing the characters of Dominic "Dom" Toretto and Agent Hobbs, from the 2011 film "Fast Five." The two men are standing face-to-face and looking at one another intensely. Vin Diesel has his arms spread out on either side of his body.
If Only Breakups Were As Clean As the ‘Fast Five’ Heist

The 2011 film is the start of what the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise became. I wanted my breakup to mirror its action, all movement and easy motives.

Cover Photo: A screenshot of the film Inception, which shows the actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the bottom left corner, watching as the city of Paris folds back in on itself.
‘Inception’ Gave Me a Way to Dream

Again and again, I’ve lost myself to movie time. I’ve lost myself to dream time, too.

Cover Photo: A production still of Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark in the film "Iron Man" (2008). He is wearing a white tank top and holding out his hand, which is encased in a dark red, mechanized metal glove.
Did I Want Tony Stark Or Want to Be Him?

‘Iron Man’ is far from the origin story of my sexuality, but it’s an inescapable part of the multiverse that is my queerness.

Cover Photo: A black and white photo of a baby's hands grasping at the hand of an adult.
Olive Olivia Olive Olive

With the baby came trouble, but not any of the kind the mommy blogs warned Ana about.