Queering Desi is a podcast that celebrates the unique experiences of South Asian LGBTQ+ people. Each week, a guest will chat with long-time community activist, writer, and Brown Girl editor Priya Arora, about their journey, their work, and what it means to be true to who you are. To help us share our stories in our own words, and take the burden of representation off each individual, this podcast aims to be a breeding ground for discussion and a platform for being loud and proud, no matter who you are!

This week, Priya chats with Indo-Caribbean activist and organizer, Mohamed Q. Amin, founder of The Caribbean Equality Project. The two open a dialogue about resonance between the South Asian and Caribbean communities. Mohamed shares how he founded CEP, and the important support, education, and empowerment work they do with Caribbean LGBTQ folks. Later, he shares his own coming out story, and the two acknowledge intergenerational and colonial traumas that bind our communities, especially when the violence we face is based in our queerness. Priya and Mohamed wrap up by addressing anti-blackness in South Asian and Caribbean communities and how to continue to build allyship across the diaspora.

More about Mohamed Q. Amin:

Mohamed Q. Amin is a pioneering Indo-Caribbean Muslim Gay Rights activist native of Guyana, who currently resides in Richmond Hill, NY. On the eve of the 2013 Manhattan Pride Parade, Amin and his siblings were attacked for being members of the LGBTQ community in their Southeast Queens neighborhood. In response to anti-LGBTQ hate violence, he founded the Caribbean Equality Project (CEP), a non-profit Caribbean LGBTQ organization based in Queens, NY.

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Mohamed has organized and led various LGBTQ educational community engagement forums, participated in panel discussions and conducted informative presentations at schools and community organizations aimed to break the silence on Caribbean LGBTQ subjects. He has a B.A. in Economics and is currently pursuing a Masters in Mental Health Counseling at his alma mater, Queens College.

As founder of the CEP, Mohamed applies his professional expertise as well as his drive for human rights, ending gender-based and anti-LGBTQ hate violence, racism, anti-transgender violence, and dismantling systems of oppression. To date, CEP is the only educational-based agency serving the Caribbean-American LGBTQ community in NYC and is dedicated to cultivating a supportive and progressive Caribbean community free of violence, oppression, and discrimination. The CEP achieves their mission through empowerment and visibility in educational, social and culturally infused organizing and advocacy.

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Will you be in NYC on April 21? Join Brown Girl Magazine as we team up with YUVA, the hottest South Asian LGBTQ+ party in NYC, to celebrate the launch of Queering Desi! More details available here.

Tune in for a new episode every Wednesday, and be sure to rate and subscribe to help us spread the word! Currently available on iTunesGoogle Play, and AudioBoom (or wherever you listen!). If you identify as South Asian and LGBTQIA+, we now have a safe space for Queering Desi listeners to post, interact, and connect! Please join our Facebook group here.

Send questions, comments, and feedback to [email protected]!

Priya Arora is a queer-identified community activist, editor, and writer. Born and raised in California, she has found a home in New York City, where she currently works as a frontpage editor at HuffPost. She previously served as a board member for SALGA NYC, the tri-state area’s South Asian LGBTQ organization. As an activist, she has spoken, performed, and presented at various LGBTQ events across the country. Priya’s educational background in mental health has fueled her passion for capturing and fostering the narratives of LGBTQ+ people of color. When she’s not working, Priya enjoys watching old school Bollywood movies, laboring over crossword puzzles, reading books she never finishes, and eating way too much of her partner’s homemade Hyderabadi biryani.