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ABOUT

QSAW NETWORK

 
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OUR STORY

The QSAW network was founded in July 2019 by Sonali (Alyy) Patel, a gay gender-fluid Indo-African Gujarati in the Canadian diaspora, with a desire to challenge the invisibility of Queer South Asian Women in Western LGBTQ+ communities. Alyy solely built the QSAW Network from ground-up as a passion project rooted in grief for our collective and dual exile from South Asian and LGBTQ+ spaces.

Since launching, the QSAW Network has been tremendously successful in connecting our beautiful community of gender marginalized LGBTQ+ South Asians.

The QSAW Network is currently run by a team of community volunteers without funding. Please consider supporting our organization by donation.

 

MISSION

The Queer South Asian Women’s (QSAW) Network is a grassroots organization based in Canada. Our mission is to empower, visibilize, connect, and enhance a sense of belongingness amongst gender marginalized LGBTQ+ South Asian diaspora.

 

GOALS

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COMMUNITY-BUILDING

Enhance visibility and a sense of belongingness amongst gender marginalized LGBTQ+ South Asian diaspora in Canada.

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GROWING TOGETHER

Acknowledging that we can always do better, we welcome constructive conversations about how to best serve and advocate for our members.

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ANTI-ASSIMILATIONIST INCLUSION

Advocate for our agency to construct culturally conducive queer identities & anti-assimilationist inclusion of QSAW in mainstream LGBTQ+ discourse.

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ELIMINATE VIOLENCE AGAINST QSAW

Raise awareness of the culturally specific forms of discrimination and challenge the identity-based violence that QSAW experience in the LGBTQ+ community.

 
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MEET THE FOUNDER

Sonali (Alyy) Patel

Sonali (Alyy) Patel is a trailblazing LGBTQ+ researcher, peace activist, intersectionality educator, and motivational speaker, who has made monumental strides for LGBTQ+ South Asian women in the diaspora. Alyy pioneered Canadian research on Queer South Asian Women’s issues in the diaspora, founded the Queer South Asian Women’s Network—a thriving national organization—and recently, made LGBTQ+ history as the first South Asian speaker of Pride Toronto’s Dyke March. Alyy passionately works to build community capacity through knowledge construction and mobilization. Alyy previously earned their M.A at the University of Ottawa, and honours B.A. in Sociology & Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Their academic credentials and advocacy work specializes in identity-based violence against diasporic Queer South Asian Women.

 

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