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The 2023 Diaspora Co. Guide to Pride

Participant of a pride march posing on the road with gold jewellery including a beautiful head and neck piece and a red scarf resembling an Indian bride, surrounded by flags and other participants of the march!

Written by

Diaspora Co. Team

Happy Pride, fam!

As pride month kicks off, we are looking forward to cute celebrations, alongside honouring the legacy of our queer ancestors and elders who paved the way for us, and are bracing for a month of corporate rainbow-washing and tokenisation, and grieving the legislative attacks on queer and trans people across the United States.

As a queer business (read our queer biz manifesto here!), showing up for our queer and trans community is a core value, both on principle and because of our own shared identities. So this Pride, we wanted to send you our guide to showing up in community and solidarity - what we’re reading/listening/watching, a chunky list of resources and links, and some fun updates on what we’re doing to celebrate and support our queer fam this year!

TW: This email dives into the anti-trans legislation going down across the country that is very heavy, so please be aware of that and take care of yourselves. We love you <3

🎧 Listening: 

  • If you are new to the conversation on transness and have questions about it, this 2 part series by The Daily did an incredible job depicting the struggle of one family in Texas seeking gender-affirming care, and one teen’s experience of being trans.  

📚 Reading: 

💻 Watching:

  • Joyland - a film about a trans Pakistani woman, which garnered high praise at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, and was the first Pakistani film ever shortlisted for the Oscars, as well as one of the fifteen Best International Feature films from 2023. Watch the trailer here! It's not out in the US yet, but will be out later this year :') Scroll down to hear about an upcoming collab with one of the cast!
  • Cowboys - a tender lil Western film about a trans boy and his dad. Trailer here!

🗞️ What’s going on:

In this incredibly dark time where 555 anti-trans bills have been introduced so far this year (82 have passed as of 6/21/23), here are a few things giving us hope right now:

🫵 What you can do to help:

  • If you live in a trans safe state and are looking for a roommate or renting an open room, please check out A Place for Marsha to help find a trans roommate seeking asylum. 
  • Sign this petition supporting horizontal reservation for trans people in India - which would allow them to have seats set aside in education, public employment, and politics, similar to affirmative action in that it would recognize trans people as a marginalized group and allow them to be recognized by other marginalized identities as well such as caste or tribe, rather than being forced to choose. Grace Banu, the founder of the Trans Rights Now Collective, explains it well here. 
  • Show up at protests for trans rights!
🗺️ Where to donate:
  • This GoFundMe supporting queer people in Uganda where on May 29, Uganda’s President Museveni signed an Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law that includes harsh prison sentences and in some cases even the death penalty.
  • Humsafar Trust - an India-based org supporting trans and queer people since 1994. Read more on their trans advocacy project here. Accepts USD donations.
  • TransRescue - an org helping trans and intersex people flee dangerous countries.
  • For the Gworls - a US-based org supporting Black trans people in paying rent and accessing safe gender-affirming surgeries. 
  • National center for transgender equality - an advocacy org doing the work to win life-saving changes for transgender people. 
  • Marsha P. Johnson Institute - an org that protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. 
  • Trans Justice Funding Project - a community-led funding initiative that supports grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people in the United States, including U.S. territories. 
  • G.L.I.T.S - a grassroots org that advocates for the rights of Black trans people and provides affordable housing.
  • Glaad - a media org that works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance.
  • Check this article for a full list of orgs to donate to in all US states and territories that are supporting trans rights and healthcare
🏳️‍🌈 How we’re celebrating:
  • Hester Street Fair Pride Market - Diaspora Co. is teaming up with Hester Street Fair and TAGMO to put on the queer street fair of our dreams! Chef Surbhi and her amazing team will be serving up some delicious treats with our spices (think Tandoori Paneer Wraps and Aloo Tiki Biryani Mash) and we will be slinging iced Haldi Doodh for the masses! There will be live music, food, dancing, and of course all of the best queer and Desi New York brands for you to support!  Come say hi on June 25th between 11-6 at the Seaport in NYC, look for the bubbles ;)
  • Diaspora Co. is honored to be sponsoring a very special performance hosted by KARVAAN NYC on June 21st. KARVAAN NYC is a New York-based initiative that aims to showcase the diverse cultural heritage of the South Asian diaspora through art, music, film, and storytelling, and bring the spiritual, mystical, and transcendental nature of South Asian music and arts to the queer and desi communities in New York. This June they will be hosting a Queer Mujra featuring the one and only, Alina Khan. Alina is a transgender actor, dancer, and social activist from Lahore, Pakistan who starred in Saim Sadiq’s feature film, Joyland. Alina Khan and a group of other queer, and transfeminine performers will be showcasing a Queer Mujra – a traditional form of dance and entertainment from the Indian subcontinent in the Mughal era. Stay tuned for more details and ticket information. This will be an incredibly special performance that you won’t want to miss if you are in NYC!
That's all for now! We wish you all a joy-filled, safe Pride and hope you will use this month as a reminder to show up for queer and trans rights.

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