Pride month. A time to come together and celebrate LOVE.
I’m Jasreen, and in this blog I’m going to talk about being South Asian and apart of the LGBTQ+ community. To show unity, that you’re not alone, whether that’s through GORGEOUS colourful lingerie by Curvy Kate or South Asian Queer icons.
My earliest memory of learning about different sexualities was when I first watched the film Bend It Like Beckham – the movie that got Kiera Knightley her fame! It was set in Hounslow (where my mum grew up) in West London, and the main character, Jess, finds out that her best friend is gay. Knowing that this would never be accepted, her best friend pretends to get engaged to Jess so her parents would allow her to go abroad for work. (Because doing anything like a holiday, alone, unmarried was so shameful?)
Another memory I have is when I would watch TV or movies with my parents, and there happened to be a same sex couple being affectionate towards each other; I’d watch my mum forward any scene involving them saying “She hates watching two men or two women kiss.” And my dad would use words like ‘He’s a puff’.
I won’t go into further detail, but being South Asian and Bisexual myself, growing up with these kinds of memories, it makes the idea of ‘coming out’ so scary and alien. I remember being a teenager and admiring singers like Rihanna, labelling them ‘Girl crushes’ but as I grew older it was a different kind of attraction, but I was too afraid to ask my parents what that meant. Whenever we’d watch things on TV where a young person like myself would ‘come out’, she’d say “They’re too young to know” “Being gay is a trend amongst you youngsters” but how would I even begin to tell her that knowing you’re not straight isn’t merely just a lifestyle choice?
In South Asian households, it seems everything is about reputation and image. God forbid, if their child belonged to the LGBTQ+ community, their first thought wouldn’t be to support their child and make them feel accepted, it would be how their image would suffer if any of the wider family found out and they would scheme a plan on how to keep all of this on the down low.
This probably sounds familiar to my fellow South Asians who are reading this. I know in more stricter South Asian households, it’s SO much harder and the stories I’ve heard. Even if you’re not SA, I hope this blog inspires you to rep the flag more!
Nevertheless, I want this blog to inspire EVERYONE to spread the love to shine a light on a global family to those individuals like us in minorities who are afraid to lose theirs because of who they are – you are NOT alone! I am still on my own journey to accepting myself and unleashing the Jasreen that has been afraid for so long but this blog is my first step to freedom.
Here are some notable South Asian influencers and celebrities leading the way to a more LGBTQ+ friendly space in the South Asian community…
Lily Singh - @lilly
A Canadian Comedian who started as a YouTuber in 2010, now the first female and openly LGBTQ+ Late Night broadcast television show.
Tanvir France @tanfrance
British TV Personality and Personal Stylist, known for being the first openly LGBTQ+ man on television appearing in Netflix’s Queer Eye and Next in Fashion
Fashion and Lifestyle TikTok influencer
TikTok Influencer and advocate.
TikTok influencer sharing her transition and journey to becoming herself.
Queer fashion influencer.
Sikh TikTok Influencer.
TikTok influencer sharing her transition journey, makeup tutorials, and fashion videos.
Don’t forget, you can follow me on @jxsreen to follow my journey into breaking culture barriers, one @curvykate bra at a time!
LOVE is LOVE! Xxxx