South Asians and Sexuality: The Importance of Space

I came across this article titled, “Some people are Gaysian – Get over it!” (From the UK – hence the Asian).  It spoke about the importance of having South Asian specific LGBT programming and support services.  Yes, there are a ton of main stream LGBT support spaces available to the public, and they offer invaluable services to queer folks.  But more often than not, its a very North American (Read: White) way of looking at LGBT issues and this can pose as a challenge for those who perhaps didn’t have the typical white North American experience, or are new comers who don’t identify with and/or understand the language surrounding sexuality.  When someone is looking for support services, the main thing people look for is a place where they can feel heard, and understood.  Coming from a South Asian background, our experiences are quite unique when it comes to family, relationships, and our ideas of shame, which makes it more challenging for those South Asians who struggle with their sexual and/or gender Identity.  Sometimes, the concept of “Coming out”, isn’t even something they identify with – and that’s ok.  This is why spaces like Dosti or campaigns like Brown N Proud , are important, because people can come into the space and say, “When I tell my story, or hear someone else’s, I feel like I’m not alone.”