QUEER SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN'S NETWORK
For QSAW, by QSAW
QSAW NETWORK AT A GLANCE
The Queer South Asian Women's (QSAW) Network emerged from an overdue need to challenge our collective invisibility as Queer South Asian Women and Gender Non-Conforming folks.
Our erasure in both South Asian and LGBTQ+ communities is lonely, exhausting, and yields significant mental health concerns. It is our hope that QSAW Network can bridge this gap by enhancing a sense of belongingness, solidarity, and visibility amongst diasporic QSAW.
The QSAW Network seeks to engage folks who are disconnected from the mainstream LGBTQ+ community, as well as foster a safer space for exploring sexuality and gender without a need to 'out' oneself. By adopting a cultural sensitivity lens, we aim to create meaningful spaces and content no matter one's level of outness.
The QSAW Network seeks to enhance visibility and a sense of belongingness amongst gender marginalized LGBTQ+ South Asian diaspora. We do so in three key ways:
ADVOCACY & EDUCATION
Target Audience: Allies
This pillar focuses on educating allies & mainstream LGBTQ+ organizations about how to better support QSAW. This pillar intends to fix the infrastructure that maintains the invisibilization of QSAW.
Target Audience: QSAW
This pillar focuses on enhancing a sense of belongingness amongst QSAW by connecting the community, as a means of social support. The goal is to alleviate loneliness.
HEALING & WELLNESS
Target Audience: QSAW
This pillar focuses on providing QSAW with healing and wellness tools, in order to cope with the daily stressors of being queer and South Asian. This pillar involves creative means of self-care.
Reject white colonial queer narratives. Refuse to assimilate to Western LGBTQ+ norms. Reclaim queerness and gender fluidity for South Asian diasporic bodies. Queer authenticity means bringing queerness back home to pre-colonial Asia✨
Live your truth safely. You don’t need to be “out” to be living your best queer desi life. Redefine the closet, or at least, make it a fabulous living space✨
"Love is love” is a fundamentally flawed rights-claim framework that advances an implicit requirement to be in a queer relationship in order to be considered validly queer. Instead, we propose that love is respect. This means respecting however you choose to express their queerness — openly, discretely, fluid code-switching, or whatever you deem the best fit for you✨
QSAW have been revoked of our agency to construct culturally conducive queer identities for far too long. It’s time to reclaim our space and collective agency within the systems that oppress us. Our work integrates community voices with an evidence-based approach in order to best represent the needs of QSAW✨
QSAW NETWORK VIRTUAL COMMUNITY SPACES
QSAW Network hosts a Facebook community group. This virtual space seeks to connect Queer and Questioning South Asian Women & Gender-Marginalized folks in North American diaspora, in order to enhance social support and foster a sense of belongingness amongst our community.
The virtual community is intended to be a feel-good space for friendships, posting memes, life updates (so we can cheer you on!), sharing art, and anything else your hearts desire.
QSAW Network hosts a Discord server that seeks to engage Queer and Questioning South Asian Women & Gender-Marginalized folks across the globe through a drop-in platform.
There are a variety of different channels on topics ranging from virtual movie nights to book clubs and even channels to meet new people.