6.10.2008

Sher Vancouver & Amar Sangha

There's a South Asian Canadian that has been generating a lot of buzz in the past month. Amar Sangha of Surrey recently created the first Sikh LGBT social and support group in the area. But Amar wasn't always so proactive and open with his sexual orientation. Before becoming a visible member of the LGBT community in the Vancouver area, Amar struggled with accepting himself in his teen years, even going through three years of therapy in attempts to become straight. Now with the support of his mother and extended family (even grandfather - who says our elders are too old skool and dusty?), he now is reaching out to the wider Sikh community. Now, most of you informed queeristan readers, amazinglamourous that you are, probably already know all this information. So what gives? Well, we will be interviewing Amar in week or two and we want to give you readers an opportunity to pose questions for us to ask. Just leave your questions in the comments section or email us at queer.desis@gmail.com

A few things Amar mentioned about Sher Vancouver when we contacted him earlier:

"...Sher Vancouver is not a political or religious organization. We are more like a social service in the sense that we offer peer support, social activities, information, and referral. We would like to reduce the isolation, loneliness, depression and alienation that many queer people feel when they are dealing with sexuality, gender, and 'coming out' issues. We are a Sikh group but we welcome everyone which is in keeping with Sikh philosophy of non discrimination."
"I founded Sher because I didn't want people to say their were no gay Sikhs and that homosexuality is not an issue within the Sikh community. I also wanted queer Sikhs to be visible in the community and exercise their rights and existence. I did not want them to remain silent any longer. Many families with gay children and gay youth had nowhere to turn. There was a gay Muslim and a gay Hindu social group but no gay Sikh group and Sikhs make up by far the largest block of South Asians in Greater Vancouver.
We will be marching in the Pride Parade under our group name Sher Vancouver and not be identified as GLBT Sikhs since many people will be marching with us who are not Sikh. I also don't see the point of causing a controversy within the Sikh community by putting Sikh symbols up on our float. I would like to reach out to the broader Sikh community and Sikh community leaders and build allies and not create unnecessary problems. That's not our mandate. We are primarily a social service after all. "
Now if you're curious about his experiences or his points of view, don't miss this opportunity. Remember: Leave any interview questions in the comments or email us at queer.desis@gmail.com

4 comments:

Alexandra said...

Looking forward to seeing your group march in Pride!

www.simplyqueer.com

desidude629 said...

This may sound ignorant, but what issues that Sikh's face that are different from Hindu's or other South Asians?

Sunnyboy said...

I am a Chinese gm living in Montreal, QC. Is there a gay Sikh group in Montreal? Thanks!
San Ying.
Pianoforjoy@rogers.com

Anonymous said...

Awesome work guys, I just hope that one day we can all be as brave as you. Im battling the situation in my life-- I just wish i did not have to live in this double personality life of min!!!