“All participants agree that more work needs to be done to give visibility to ethnic LGBT+ communities, their struggles and their stories” and “84% have been discriminated against their identities in Aotearoa” reveals the largest study of LGBT+ persons of South Asian ancestries in Aotearoa.
Early this year, Adhikaar Aotearoa consulted 43 LGBT+ ethnic individuals across Aotearoa. All of them have South Asian ancestries. The Adhikaar Report titled “Community is Where the Knowledge is” captures their strength, resilience, and power. Adhikaar Aotearoa holds deep gratitude to all participants of this who graciously gave their time, knowledge, experiences, and emotional labour.
The Adhikaar Report shows that those with lived experiences of issues affecting their community also have the knowledge, drive, and passion for making a change. Made up of at least 13,800 people, Aotearoa’s LGBT+ South Asian community’s collective traumas, adversities, triumphs, and self-awareness, as revealed in this report, prove that we are best placed to provide the answers and solutions to questions that have pervasively troubled us. Racism, queerphobia, preemptive distancing, historical and residual trauma, the stigma around mental health, and the erasure of colour in LGBT+ representation, especially in media, are some themes explored in the report. As one participant expertly put it, existing as LGBT+ South Asians in societies, communities, and spaces not catered to our needs often feels like being “marginalised twice over.”
The findings challenge prejudices and preconceived notions of queerness in general with specifics from ethnic experiences that cannot be understood through western and whiteness frameworks. It also challenges racialised self-loathing, queerphobia, and other forms of marginalisation and violence within and between ethnic communities. The findings reinstate that transgender and intersex persons were more vulnerable to violence and marginalisation in any given context.
This mahi has been transformational and profoundly deepened our kaupapa. We hope it will be the same or similar to most readers.
Adhikaar Aotearoa is a charitable trust with the vision of an Aotearoa where LGBT+ people of colour, particularly South Asians, can be themselves, free of fear and stigma
Press Contact: Vinod Bal (email@example.com)