I was in discussion with the Southbank Centre about the prospect of a gay and lesbian panel discussion as part of this year’s Alchemy festival. It was during the last weekend of March, after Saturday 29, upon the arrival of same sex marriage (in England and Wales) that its relevance seemed more pronounced i.e. whilst we now have same sex marriage, the irony is, most British (South) Asians still find themselves unable to come out to their parents and families.
How many of us ‘successfully’ navigate with our ethnic, racial, cultural identity and our sexual identity? What sacrifices are made to fit into either camp, be it South Asian or LGBT spaces? Can you be yourself (out) and still have a good relationship with your parents and family?
Once we’ve acknowledged the current context I’m most interested in how we get to a more progressive tomorrow… More South Asian LGBT role models, who are out in public life and the media? What are South Asian LGBT role models? What role can culture (TV, film, theatre and the media) play in supporting this? How do we create more awareness and understanding through grassroots engagement – with our families, friends, communities? How can wider society support us to that better future…?
The Love That Knows Much Shame takes place on Friday 23 May, 6pm at Southbank Centre, London and is now open for booking.
Panel members include
The weekend was truly momentous with the arrival of Equal Marriage from Saturday 29 March 2014. After observing the progress of EM over the past 18-months I was beginning to feel euphoric in the lead up to Saturday. BBC Midlands Masala, catering for South Asian communities across the West Midlands covered this topic in Sunday’s programme. The irony is: whilst we now have Equal Marriage in England and Wales most (British) South Asians still feel unable to come out to their parents and families. How do we get to a better tomorrow?
The programme is presented by Ray Khan sitting in for Arshia Riaz and is available online until next Sunday. The first hour has the most coverage on the subject. I’m on from 14:25 – 23:45.
We have some listeners reaction to Equal Marriage from 28:39 – 29:46.
Fiyaz Mughal, Director of Faith Matters joins from 30:05 – 34:37. He makes some very valid points on human behaviour being dynamic and not static and envisions more acceptance over the next two decades.
Satbir, an articulate voice, a teacher of a Sikh background is on from 34:48 – 37:28.
And from 37:38 – 41:55 a female caller talks about her Muslim Pakistani friend forced into an arranged marriage.
In all, a progressive programme on Equal Marriage and its relevance to South Asian communities in England and Wales. Well done BBC! Listen to the programme here. But we have so much more to do.
The final point which I didn’t make in the programme is: as fellow humans we have a responsibility to support our family members, friends and communities to come to terms with themselves, to learn to accept themselves, to become who they (really) are by being true to themselves… to release the unique bright spark that we all are.
Ruchi Tandon interview is now available on Desi Download. It’s a succinct 03:52 in duration. The contributor does a fantastic job. You may find some other things there of interest too.
Extract from Beneath the Surface, performed by Dharmesh Patel, written by Carl Miller and directed by Steve Johnstone and Kate Chapman.
After waking up on a bright autumnal morning in Borough on Sunday, we returned to collect the car from Southbank Centre. The weekend market was just getting set-up. I had a lovely chat with a Portuguese woman of Indian descent. She was a graphic designer, who came to London to complete her masters two years back; she was moonlighting on the market. She was very friendly and asked what I was going to see at RFH. I told her that we’d performed there the previous night (in a space within the Southbank Centre). And from there on she took an interest in the project’s subject.
We headed back up north via Maidenhead, thinking it would be good to see a friend’s new home. His parents were visiting him from India. We were fed delicious prawn biryani and Andhra chicken. I fell asleep afterwards. This was acceptable and not considered rude.
We continued our drive north arriving in Sheffield at 19:50. We made our way straight to BBC Sheffield. Shawkat Hashmi, a very pleasant producer had recently been in touch with me to set up an interview for the Sunday evening Eastern Air programme. As we were together it made sense for Abhi to come along too. I think that was the first broadcast interview we’ve done together. Yes, he made a contribution too.
The interview was conducted by Waheed Akhtar. It’s available here on listen again for another 6-days. It runs from 2:06 – 2:21.
Beneath the Surface in Sheffield tickets available here.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow afternoon: getting down to Wolverhampton and running a workshop session with Carl Miller. I’m anticipating new people, voices and ideas to discover…