In her 1941 short story "The Quilt," 1 Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai depicts the curious relationship between a sequestered wife and her female maidservant in an upper-class Muslim household, as observed by the young girl who narrates the tale. Every night, the girl is alternately fascinated and alarmed by the energetic contortions of the two women under the quilt; curious sounds and smells emanate from there. The quilt becomes the organizing metaphor of the story, and its shifting surfaces suggest the mobile relations of erotic pleasures that Chughtai weaves throughout the text. Chughtai's quilt—and the patchwork effects of multiple desires that it represents—provides a useful site upon which to engage with the vexed question of how to read alterior sexuality across national and cultural locations. 2 Anthropologist Rosalind Morris, in her essay on gender and sexuality in Thailand, warns against the "homogenization of differences that emerges when ... [particular] forms of alterior sexual identity are considered in fetishism's vacuum, independent of the culturally specific sex/gender systems from which they emerge." 3 Taking Morris's cautionary observation as a necessary point of departure—and keeping in mind the dangers and difficulties of juxtaposing two texts that speak to what appear to be radically different genealogies and historical contexts—I here read "The Quilt" against and through a piece of contemporary reflexive feminist anthropology, written by Susan Seizer and published in 1995 in the pages of Public Culture. 4 In so doing, I seek to foreground the structures of looking, seeing, and being seen at work in the formation of colonial and postcolonial sexual subjectivities, and the centrality of the figure of the gendered subaltern to such formations. I hope, in the process, to make clear the mechanisms by which current discourses around the formation of "lesbian" or queer subjectivity—even those that are avowedly feminist and antiracist—can rely upon and function in the service of familiar colonial strategies of subjectification. I end with a brief look at what can be termed queer South Asian diasporic cultural practices that undercut globalizing discourses of sexuality and that instead offer up a more enabling formulation of transnational processes of sexual subjectification.