We are now a team of team of 7 volunteers and a network of 24 organisations across the UK (and increasingly overseas) offering a range of services including a helpline number, youth work, mental health support, sexual health services, trans and non-binary support and we work with a variety of faith groups and organisations that represent the spectrum of what it is to be LGBT+ and South Asian.
We respond to hundreds of emails and messages from LGBTQ+ individuals and their families from the UK and around the world and guide them to the support they are seeking. Sometimes they just want to talk to someone and feel less alone, connected and that the intersections of being South Asian and LGBTQ+ can co-exist healthily, other times people need more practical and urgent help.
We held our first event called 'Desi Lesbians Where Are you?' to a packed out crowd in London in early 2017 and in the summer 100 of us Gaysians of different faiths, genders, castes and sexualities marched at Pride in London, which had never happened before.
In 2018 we put on the UK celebration of the scrapping of criminal legislation in India and it was the closest to our own Pride event we’ve ever had, simultaneously raising £5k for LGBT+ charities in India. As well as organising our own community events, we've produced a series of Gaysians radio shows, written many articles, promoted our network organisations on social media and to press, all to provide positive visibility and support to our community. We speak at events around the world and provide our voice to challenge stereotypes.
All our partners now have a greater presence with the people they are trying to reach than ever before. The emails and messages we receive daily reassure us that our work is making a difference in the world. But, there is so much more to do.
Gaysians has been entirely self-funded by me for four years. I have a team of incredibly inspiring and dedicated volunteers that work tirelessly to help our community of individuals to not fall through the net.
Our community is more at risk than ever before and we need your help.
The South Asian LGBT+ community are globally and locally some of the most vulnerable and overlooked groups in the world.
A BBC report in 2018 highlighted that British South Asians are twice as likely as the rest of the UK population to disagree with same sex relationships and most worryingly, this percentage is consistent amongst age brackets and generations. This is unlike any other group in the country and is highly alarming.
According to the 2011 UK Census, South Asians that do not identify as heterosexual amount to 491,564 people.
Our recent work with the leading LGBTQ+ homelessness charity in the country has highlighted that despite South Asians amounting to 14.14% of the UK population, only 7% of us access homelessness services. This under-utilisation of accessing services is echoed across the board.
We know that most of these people will be challenged by cultural, societal and religious barriers and we are asking for your donations to help us continue to do our work.
We know that we are TWICE as likely to face opposition and disownment by our own families and communities and HALF as likely to access support outside them.
Help us close this gap.
We have never received funding or donations and we'd like to establish our organisation as a charity as well as employ a development consultant to take us to the next level.
Find out more here: gaysians.org
- Stevi Jelbart
- Miti Patel
- Rosanna Tilbrook
- Niamh McGuire
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