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Why Daya Celebrates Pride?

June is Pride month. Pride month commemorates the Stonewall Riots that took place in June 1969 and were a landmark in the gay liberation movement in the USA. During Pride, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex folks and allies honor the struggle of LGBTQI+ movement and celebrate love and identity in all its myriad forms.

Despite changing laws around homosexuality, the LGBTQ community is met with stigma and taboo in most South Asian countries. Often the South Asian community living in the US carry these norms with them that get further compounded with the anti-LGBTQ culture in certain communities in the US and continue to stigmatize their LGBTQ community members. In South Asia you often hear the myth ' homosexuality comes from the west', but if you look at the rich history across south Asian cultures it is clear that homosexuality always existed and same sex love was even celebrated.

At Daya we celebrate Pride month to celebrate our LGBTQI+ South Asian community members. We recognize the unique challenges and barriers that they face due to their intersecting identities. We also know that domestic violence between same sex partners and family violence towards LGBTQI+ family members is common in our community. Stereotypes among service providers such as 'if it's two men in a violent situation, it's not abuse, they're just fighting' make it difficult for victims of abuse to seek help. Myths among family and community members such as 'it's just a phase' or 'people can be cured of their homosexuality' feed the demon of homophobia, including internalized homophobia in the LGBTQI+ community. Being LGBTQI+ is not a choice, you are born this way, but being an ally is, everyone can choose to be an ally. You do not have to comprise your convictions to be compassionate and you do not have to understand to accept and to love. Everyone has a right to love who they want to love and be who they want to be, and we at Daya stand by this right.

Join us to celebrate Desi Pride with a free movie screening on Monday, June 24 from 7 pm to 9 pm at Cafe Brasil. We will be screening Signature Move, a film by Fawzia Mirza about identity, love and lady wrestling. " Zaynab a thirty-something Pakistani, Muslim, lesbian in Chicago takes care of her sweet and TV-obsessed mother. As Zaynab falls for Alma, a bold and very bright Mexican woman, she searches for her identity in life, love and wrestling." Watch the trailer here:

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