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 Vivek Shraya, whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. The two chat about Vivek’s first collection of poetry, “even this page is white,” including its groundbreaking boldness in calling out white supremacy and what it’s like to look back on the collection now. The two also discuss Vivek’s latest album, “Part-Time Woman,” and the depth and message of Priya’s favorite track, Brown Girls. Later, Vivek gives us a glimpse of her upcoming book, “I’m Afraid Of Men” and the two chat about the power of one Ma Anand Sheela… (Shraya?!)

More about Vivek:

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. Vivek’s 2017 album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, “Part-Time Woman,” was included in CBC’s Best Canadian Albums of 2017. Her first book of poetry, “even this page is white,” won a 2017 Publisher Triangle Award and was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. Her debut novel, “She of the Mountains,” was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books, and her book “I’m Afraid of Men” will be out in Fall 2018 from Penguin Canada. Vivek has read and performed inter­nationally at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions. She is one half of the music duo “Too Attached” and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books.

[Last Week’s Episode: Queering Desi, Episode 9: For The Love of Dance with Rohan Sheth]

A four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, and has received honors from the Toronto Arts Foundation and The Writers’ Trust of Canada. Vivek is currently a director on the board of the Tegan & Sara Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.

You can find more information, and links to Vivek’s work, on her website. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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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.