The Asian World publishes my story on being a British Gay Sikh

The Asian World is a monthly magazine targeting South Asians living predominately in the Midlands. This magazine is read by over 150,000 people a month so you can imagine by delight when I was offered an opportunity to write an article! The brief I had was to write a short article outlining my coming out and reaction from the community. I had to avoid all religious references (which makes sense due to the vast readership) and instead focus more on the social acceptance side of things. It’s on page 37, you can read it online here or below:

“When I was in secondary school, I often found myself having gay thoughts, finding myself attracted to the same gender, how could this be possible? Surely I’m not gay! Back then, I was told being gay is something “Western”, something that is reserved for white people and there’s no possible way that any Asian, let alone Sikh could be gay. I believed this, but somehow these thoughts wouldn’t settle. I always assumed my peers had these thoughts but were never spoken about. At the age of 21, I refused to let this battle in my head continue. I finally decided to explore these thoughts. Luckily I had a friend who was openly gay and we struck up a very strong platonic relationship. He introduced me to other gay people. For the first time in my life, nothing made sense. How can all these people, Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders all be happy with who they are, and why is nobody laughing and pointing? The more I explored this side of life, the more the thoughts in my head began to make sense. No longer did I feel I was living a lie, instead I was able to speak what I thought and not fear of being judged.

In my social circle, there is a mix of males, females, straights, gays, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. We have celebrated religious festivals in the past, been to places of worship and have had long weekend holidays away. This is nothing different from your average friends circle.  Just because I am gay doesn’t mean that anything is different.

I’ve never had a problem with homophobic abuse, lots of people looked, yes, but this was a look of shock, confusion, never one of anger. In fact, some smiled and nodded their heads. What would your reaction be if you saw a guy wearing a Turban holding hands with another guy? ”

Gay Sikh article in The Asian World

Gay Sikh article in The Asian World

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  • Penelope k

    Thanks for having the courage to speak up. I admire folk like you, against all odds standing up for your self and rights.

    I hope people in the sikh community start to wake up to reality.
    I’m cheering you along, please don’t let anyone bring you down I know there can be some people who have negative opinions.

    Thank you again for your efforts in bringing this awareness

    • [email protected]

      Hi Penelope,

      Thank you for your kind message, it’s always refreshing to hear such positive comments such as yourselves. I must admit the reaction hasn’t been as bad as anticipated. I did get an initial large backlash on Twitter but this seems to have died down and others are beginning to accept that Gay Sikhs exist, they may not agree with it, but they accept it and that is the first step.

      Please help others by getting involved in my Twitter discussions @gaysikh and also by passing this blog around. It would mean so much to me.

      Many thanks once again 🙂

  • Aki

    I just found your blog. I am straight but was in a gay bar with friends yesterday and noticed a Sikh guy with a turban. I am Sikh too but no turban and not particularly adherent. Anyway my other friend she is atheist but born Sikh said she was surprised to see a turbaned Sikh in a gay bar. Now I am not sure if he was straight or gay but I couldn’t see why it mattered. Anyway as I really am not very adherent I thought I would try to find out what the position on being gay on Sikhism is and it appears a bit contradictory the texts say nothing so there is no strict prohibition on it and as most Sikhs drink and cut their hair you would think it would be fine. But then there are authorities that say it is wrong. I feel that just as with the caste system this is a cultural issue and I am sure as time goes on things will change. I just hope we don’t become more fundamentalist and condemn things we don’t understand because it’s easier than trying to understand. I will stop going on, I very much support equal marriage and also hope that civil unions will be available soon to different sex couple too after all we all should be arguing for equality as it seems to me to be central plank of Sikhism. We all have prejudices but we should strive to overcome them. I wish you luck in your life and hope you continue this blog. It is a good read.

    • Gay Sikh

      Hi Aki,

      Really nice to hear your positive comments. Indeed there are many Sikh guys who are gay and are proud of both their religion and sexuality (me being one of them).

      Unfortunately many Sikhs whom I’ve met know very little about the original Sikh scriptures but are very knowledgable about what they’ve learnt through the family. Unfortunately this has ways been communicated with bias and misinterpretation which has resulted in Sikhs being homophobic and adhering to a caste system, both of which I believe has no place in Sikhism!

      I’m happy to hear you think positively of my blog and can only hope that it’s existence will help educate others 🙂

  • nirmal

    What would your reaction be if you saw a guy wearing a Turban holding hands with another guy?

    especially if that guy has face hair too? even if he doesnt have face hair, oh man that would rock. i wanna see more of it, seriously. it would be much nicer than the sacrilidges i see done within n outside of our faith these days. it would be refreshing. im sick of being forced into public porn where a guy n a girl start making out in public.

  • Lindsley Adams

    go for it baby dont heed what other think live your live have faith in yourself