What is the Queer* South Asian** National Network (QSANN)?
We are a network developed by current and past queer South Asian organizational leaders across the U.S.
We use “South Asian” as a term to affirm and reflect anyone who has ancestral history that traces their roots back to the South Asian subcontinent and its diaspora. This includes people who self-identify as having ancestral heritage from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Tibet. We use “queer” as a term to affirm and reflect anyone who self-identifies as LGBTQIA+ (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, or other identities or experiences outside of heterosexual / heteronormative concepts of sex, sexuality, and gender.) We use “U.S.” to designate the geographic area we live in, recognizing that we are occupying colonized land and we challenge any imperialism, including the U.S., that capitalizes on and erases indigenous populations around the world.
Queer South Asian organizations that
- Survive and thrive through leadership change;
- Have a documented and preserved history;
- Are able to build on local and national resources to support their members;
- Reflect, serve, and are led by the diversity of our communities; and
- Engage their local communities in dialogue, action, and intersectional movement building.
Emerging and existing queer South Asian leaders who
- Have strong foundations for embodying and cultivating leadership;
- Feel connected to and empowered by the history of our movement; and
- Are committed to building intersectional movements for liberation that center a queer people of color lens.
Queer South Asian community members who
- Have the support and resources they need to realize their full selves;
- Feel supported within their given and chosen families as well as the broader South Asian and LGBTQIA+ communities;
- Have the tools to become engaged in intersectional movement building on a personal and/or systemic level; and
- Shape the political and cultural narratives of queer South Asian experience.
QSANN’s mission is to connect, strengthen, and support queer South Asian organizations, leaders, and community members in building sustainable and inclusive communities that practice and mobilize around racial and gender justice, LGBTQIA+ liberation, and intersectional movement building within and beyond our own identities.
What does the network do?
The national network is responding to critical issues and events in our communities, as those who are directly impacted, and as allies to communities. We are continuing to explore how QSANN can best support local QSA organizations, leaders, and communities and how we can be most impactful.
Who are we?
We are led by queer South Asians who have founded, organized/led, or participated in queer South Asian organizations and communities.
A little bit about our history….
Like anything, it all starts with dialogue. A conversation during the queer South Asian panel and caucus at The Task Force’s 2014 Creating Change led to discussions around creating a Queer South Asian National Network of organizations. Sasha W. reached out to individuals and organizations to gauge interest and set the ball rolling. Starting July 2014, a group of U.S.-based, queer South Asians began participating in a series of conference calls to explore the needs of our communities, the opportunities in front of us, as well as ideas for collaborative projects to support queer South Asian organizations at a national-level.
This moment in time marks a new chapter in queer South Asian organizing. Unlike past attempts to organize nationally (National Association of South Asian Lambda Organizations (NASALO) and the Queer South Asian pre-conference at the 2012 NQAPIA conference), we have a critical mass of queer South Asian activists and organizers to support this emerging effort.
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