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Photo Series: The Queer South Asian Diaspora

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

By: Bisma Jay

This photo series was submitted by Bisma Jay. It features queer South Asians from the diaspora!

"Growing up, I barely saw any positive representation of queer South Asian folks in the media and I wanted to change that by connecting with people from my community and hearing their stories. This photo series is a resource that is meant to bring our communities together and provide positive representation of queer South Asian lives. I hope to continue this project further and compile a series of images of South Asian queers from all around the world!"

- Bisma Jay

Nooria (Right):

"Nooria is a queer, Muslim, Afghan organizer and

activist in Toronto. She is a member of BASICS Community News Service, a Toronto-based community media organization as well as a DJ, better known as Heebiejabi. Nooria is a student at the University of Toronto studying Political Science, Human Geography, and History.

Alisha (Left):

"Alisha was once described by their mother as “a cool rocker dude.” They have just completed a film BA at U of T and is absolutely exhausted. In their spare time, they knit, craft and catch up on TV. In the future, they hope to magically find the motivation to apply to law school."

Marishka Zachariah:

"Marishka Zachariah is a non-binary Indian Canadian diaspora game designer and digital artist. As a graduate from OCAD U’s Digital Futures program, Marishka has showcased interactive work in Virtual Reality in numerous showcases, including CES, SXSW and TCAF’s Comics x Games. Marishka is currently working at Crows Crows Crows, and focusing on bringing more marginalized voices and designers included into games and the games industry."


"Saba is a Queer British-Pakistani artist born in Leeds, UK. Working in abstracts, their art is born from their diagnosis of Fibromyalgia - a chronic pain condition which effects both physical and mental functioning. Alongside their art, Saba also writes identity-based poetry and essays, tackling issues such as race, gender, sexuality and disability."

Sanchari Sur:

Sanchari Sur is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in fiction. Her work can be found in Toronto Book Award Shortlisted The Unpublished City, Arc Poetry Magazine, Humber Literary Review, Prism International etc. She is a PhD candidate in English at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the curator/cofounder of Balderdash Reading Series.

Bisma Jay:

"Bisma is the curator and photographer of this photo series."

The series can be found on Bisma's Instagram page or alternatively if you would like to support her art and purchase a copy of the first volume you can find it on her Etsy.

Bisma's Personal Instagram: @mx_besharam 

Bisma's Art Account: @BismaJay_Art 


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