The Adhikaar Report
In 2022, Adhikaar Aotearoa embarked on a first of its kind, community consultation, that sought to understand the unique experiences that LGBT+ South Asians face in Aotearoa.
As a culmination of these community consultations, we drafted a document that speaks to the stories that our community shared with us. A document that will provide an original contribution. A document that will be a catalyst of change.
That document is the Adhikaar Report.
It speaks to the experiences that our community have had, through three themes: self and society, ethnic families and communities, and mainstream LGBT+ communities.
average age of participants
South Asian ethnicities represented
The Adhikaar Report is for Arfi, who after listening to one of her father’s queerphobic outbursts at a young age, believed that she would “burn” if she lived life as her authentic bisexual self.
This report is for Bhagat, who faced a horrific instance of immense physical and psychological violence after coming out to his father.
This report is for Premkumar, who lived a life of inauthenticity so that he could “preserve” his family’s honour.
This report is for Kalani, who, because of her sexuality, grew up as a “criminal” in her home country; an identity that shaped her view of her sexuality as deviant.
This report is for Ishan, who believes his family will kill him if they find out that he is gay.*
*names changed to protect identity.
are "out" to their family
are "out" to their friends
agree that more work needs to be done to visibilise ethnic queers**
**we use the term “queer” to reflect diverse sex characteristics, gender and sexual identities.
"...existing as LGBT+ South Asians in societies, communities, and spaces not catered to our needs often feels like being “marginalised twice over”.
Our unique identities, experiences, ideas, perspectives and emotions are often not accounted for, or made invisible, in the three different speres of relationality we exist in: the South Asian community, the mainstream LGBT+ community, and Aotearoa New Zealand society.
are not happy with access to support services for ethnic queer persons in Aotearoa
say that ethnic queer voices are not represented in Aotearoa
have experienced discrimination
In light of this report, and our hope for the work that these insights inspire, we strive for a reality in which one’s “adhikaar” – the right to be free, the right to love, the right of be oneself – is truly realised in Aotearoa New Zealand.