KhushDC Queer South Asian Bookclub

KhushDC

I came across a fantastic monthly event connecting Queer South Asian literature and community.

KhushDC evolved with the two founders Atul and Yassir met by chance in New York during the 25th anniversary of Stonewall.

They wanted to create a similar group like SALGA, but for the DC community. So in 1994, KhushDC launched!

I vaguely remember (please KhushDC members and please KhushDC members correct me if I’m wrong) there was a listserve on e-groups (before yahoo groups bought them out), and I know that’s how other Queer South Asians connected during the Web 1.0 era.

For those bookworms out there, they have a monthly bookclub! It’s open to anyone, and it’s global too. For March, they are reading “Blue Boy” by Rakesh Satyal.

For many of us who have felt like we didn’t belong, books offered us an opportunity to explore faraway lands, get lost in a story, inspire our imaginations.

Please take the time to read their guidelines. Have fun.

Happy reading!

Book Club Guidelines:

  1. This space is open to all.
  2. This space is trans-affirming space, so please honor people’s names and pronouns.
  3. You do not need to read the book to join the book club conversation
  4. Be mindful of the space you take, giving others the opportunity to partake in the discussion.
  5. Be mindful about your own explicit and/or implicit biases, such as (but not limited to) ableism, anti-blackness, biphobia, casteism, internalized racism, misogyny, transphobia and religious biases.
  6. Be respectful of others and their opinions. Agree to disagree.
  7. Respect each other’s privacy

Thank you Vijay Uncle

We all need a “Vijay Uncle” in our lives; I’m proud to say I got to meet him once at SASA 2004, in Houston, Texas.

From the moment I met him, the warmth of his personality just put me at ease. And he was on a mission to encourage the students to become bone marrow donors.

I forget most of his pitch, but he cheekily said something along the lines, “you can even become a marrow donor if you’re hungover,” the students just laughed so hard.

He was easy to talk to; we kept bumping into each other at the conference; I was working for a South Asian media website that was the grand sponsor of the event. We got to know each other.

I was at a low point in my early 20s; I had Vijay Uncle as a friend on MySpace. I don’t know what made me do it, but I opened up to him and came out to him; he told me his son was gay, and he even offered to go out of his way to explain to an individual that there is nothing wrong with their child being gay.

I was touched he offered to help, but I told him it is just best to let things be, and I had to move on.

But I will never forget that; a few years ago, this video popped up on my Facebook and brought me to tears. It’s a very emotional and loving tribute a father can give to his son.

Thank you, Vijay Uncle, for being you.

Together we are forever (RIP Naz)

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I am in love. I am in love with my fiancé, my soulmate, my everything.
I will follow him to the ends of the earth.
I will stay strong for him.
To try and fix what is wrong.
To honour his memory.
Rest in peace my darling.
Naz I love you. We will meet again.
Together we are forever xxxx
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