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Dark, Lovely, and South Asian

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On National Coming Out Day, Thursday, October 11th, 2012, a coalition of South Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations and individuals in the U.S. will launch DeQH, the first South Asian LGBTQ national helpline. DeQH offers free, confidential, culturally sensitive peer support, information and resources by telephone for LGBTQ South Asian individuals, families and friends around the globe. The intent is to provide a safe and supportive ear for callers to share their concerns, questions, struggles or hopes through conversations with trained LGBTQ South Asian Peer Support Volunteers.Callers can reach the helpline at (908) FOR-DEQH (908-367-3374) 8pm-10pm on Thursdays and Sundays, Eastern Standard Time [5-7pm PST]. Days and times will expand over time.For general information, check out www.deqh.org and contact deqh.info@gmail.com.

On National Coming Out Day, Thursday, October 11th, 2012, a coalition of South Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations and individuals in the U.S. will launch DeQH, the first South Asian LGBTQ national helpline. DeQH offers free, confidential, culturally sensitive peer support, information and resources by telephone for LGBTQ South Asian individuals, families and friends around the globe. The intent is to provide a safe and supportive ear for callers to share their concerns, questions, struggles or hopes through conversations with trained LGBTQ South Asian Peer Support Volunteers.

Callers can reach the helpline at (908) FOR-DEQH (908-367-3374) 8pm-10pm on Thursdays and Sundays, Eastern Standard Time [5-7pm PST]. Days and times will expand over time.

For general information, check out www.deqh.org and contact deqh.info@gmail.com.

Filed under south asian diaspora lgbtq support u.s.

523 notes &

jayaa:

I just saw an ad for a children’s TV show called “Sally Bollywood: Super Detective” (see an episode here)

Sally Bollywood is a French-Australian animated series which revolves around a young Indian girl, who lives in a town called “Cosmopolis”. Her father, Harry, is a private detective, which inspired Sally to start her own private eye service, S.B.I. (Sally Bollywood Investigations), located in the basement of their family home. She, along with the help of best friend Doowee McAdam, solve cases presented to them usually by children attending their school. Most cases see Sally and Doowee traveling around their local neighbourhood and using technology to help with their numerous investigations.

I like that Sally is dark-skinned, wears a traditional red bindi and a total badass. Sends a cool message to little brown girls growing up in the west.

Submitted via sadesjourney

jayaa:

I just saw an ad for a children’s TV show called “Sally Bollywood: Super Detective” (see an episode here)

Sally Bollywood is a French-Australian animated series which revolves around a young Indian girl, who lives in a town called “Cosmopolis”. Her father, Harry, is a private detective, which inspired Sally to start her own private eye service, S.B.I. (Sally Bollywood Investigations), located in the basement of their family home. She, along with the help of best friend Doowee McAdam, solve cases presented to them usually by children attending their school. Most cases see Sally and Doowee traveling around their local neighbourhood and using technology to help with their numerous investigations.

I like that Sally is dark-skinned, wears a traditional red bindi and a total badass. Sends a cool message to little brown girls growing up in the west.

Submitted via sadesjourney

(Source: dispirits)

Filed under sally bollywood cartoon dark-skinned south asian and lovely

18 notes &

This is an article I wrote about Dark, Lovely & South Asian for Organizing Upgrade.

Big love to Thanu and Purvi for making this happen. And alllllllllll yall for supporting, contributing, all the feedback, and spreading the word. I honestly thought I was the only one who needed this space. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking that I was instantly proved wrong. 

Follow Dark, Lovely & South Asian on Tumblr

Like Dark, Lovely & South Asian on Facebook

Follow Dark, Lovely & South Asian on Twitter

With deep love and gratitude,

Jasmin (darklovelyandsouthasian@gmail.com) 

Filed under article dark-skinned south asian and lovely organizing upgrade

9 notes &

help send a crew from San Francisco State University to Philly

Jasmin’s note: If you have the financial means, please help support these folks to raise over $1100 in four days! http://igg.me/p/228324 <3

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We are Sureshi, Clarence, Chris and Dinah. The four of us are attempting to raise funds to present our research at the 24th Cheikh Anta Diop International Conference.

Each year, the Cheikh Anta Diop International conference facilitates panels and papers on various aspects of the African and African Diaspora cultures, histories, thoughts, and practices from within the Afrocentric intellectual framework.  

A little about us…

Dinah Clark will be presenting research on holistic ways of healing and the use of African-Centered healing practices with African American women who are survivors of rape and domestic violence. Clark will be paying special attention in her research to healers and the specific methods they utilize.

Clarence George III will be presenting research on Afrocentric pedagogy and using culturally relevant teaching and how the incorporation of African culture throughout the educational experience can improve outcomes and self efficacy for Black youth through their K-12 education.

Sureshi Jayawardene will be presenting on people of African descent in the Indian Ocean region, more specifically India and Sri Lanka. Jayawardene will be doing a content analysis of select scholarly texts to assess how the Africanity of African-descended populations in those regions has been engaged in intellectual discourses. 

Christopher Roberts will be presenting on how Africana-Identified youth in Richmond, Stockton, and Oakland California can use Hiphop art and culture as a tool for radical healing from violence as they define it. Roberts’ research will be Youth Participatory and it will utilize the Nzuri Model, Queer Theory, Black Feminism, Womanism, other academic theoretical frameworks along with youth articulated theory. 

We all truly believe in and love the work that we do. But more than that, we love the communities we do the work for. We are driven by a passion and a desire to see a better tomorrow for our people across the globe. Attending this conference would be a huge step forward for us on this journey of making our dreams realities. 

Dollar and A Dream

So here’s the nitty-gritty…

We need $1200.00 for airfare, conference registration, as well as lodging for this conference. If able to attend, we will be flying from the California Bay Area, and staying in Philadelphia, PA for the conference. We

For all those who contribute we will personally send you tweets and live play by play of each of the individual presentations as well as create space for you to dialogue personally to each of the presenters online via social media. Additionally, and probably coolest of all, for donations of $75 or more, we will invite you to a dry run of our presentation in Oakland, CA to meet the presenters personally and share ideas and work of your own with our group as well.

All of the funds will go to the aforementioned purposes of airfare, conference registration, and lodging.

The Impact

Over the past year the four of us have grown in ways that words cannot do justice. By having the chance to learn and grow in our interests and ideas we have been able to become better activists, students, artists, leaders, and above all human beings. We hope and strive to share the work that we are engaged in with the world and build connections with comrades who share our fervor for our people. With your help we can make this happen.

Other ways to HELP :-)

$1, $10, $100 any amount you have we would appreciate. That said, we know that times are rough and that some people just can’t contribute. We are thankful for and inspired by all of your support (monetary, spiritual, anything)! If you can’t donate with money, we ask that you spread the word about our mission and research and if you see us around just give us a hi or a hug. Believe us, it helps. We thank you, we love you, and we are here for you, we are here for us, we are here for our people! 

Filed under dark-skinned south asian and lovely submission

120 notes &

"When my sister and I were young, my paternal grandmother would play games while feeding us. She would close her eyes, hold out a morsel of food, and alternately cry out to the "pigeon" or the "crow" to come and stealthily eat the food. If she opened her eyes and caught us in the act, she would win. 

It was one of the fondest memories of my childhood until I realized that our nicknames were based on colorism; my (relatively) fair younger sister was the pigeon while I, being the darker one, was always the crow.

I didn’t even think of this as shadeism/ colorism for years, because I’d internalized this discrimination as a fact of life; realization belatedly dawned upon me when I was took a Gender Studies class in college. 

I hate myself for resenting my grandmother since she’s no more, but sometimes all I can remember is her shadeism and it hurts. Even after all these years. Sometimes affectionate discrimination from those who love us can hurt more than mean spirited taunts from passing strangers.

That being said, this seemingly innocuous experience, and innumerable others, have helped me grow and mature as a person. Shuttling between Bangalore and Berkeley over the past four years, I was always amused to see all the ‘whitening’ products in India and their ‘tanning’ and/or ‘bronzing’ counterparts in America. To be honest, for a while, I welcomed being exotified for my colour, reveling in America’s praise and envy because in India, my skin only evokes condescension and unwelcome advice. 

Gradually, I’ve come to see that the grass really IS greener on the other side. We all want what we can’t have. And there’s no surer recipe for unhappiness.

I still use Fair and Lovely daily (don’t judge me!!!) but now it’s only for its moisturizing properties; nothing else works quite as well for my combination facial skin. I wear sunscreen daily, but only to protect my skin from harm, not to ‘prevent tanning (as though it’s a disease!).’ I embrace my love for the sun and spend hours at the beach whenever I can. Mentally, it’s still a struggle; I wince when I see photos of me with fairer friends and unflattering lighting, I tend to use Instagram filters that make me look lighter (and therefore better, amirite? WRONG), and I meekly listen to the ‘home remedies’ prescribed by sympathetic, well meaning desi aunties. 

But now I know better than to base my self worth on the amount of melanin in my skin. 

Neither should you.”



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Jasmin’s (moderator/editor) note: I am so grateful for everyone who bravely shares, especially this dear one. I understand the pressure to use or to think these products are the only ones that work for our skin. My pushback would be that there’s a ton of chemicals that are not good for our health in the long-run. You can read more here and here and here (among other articles online). It’s truly out of care, not judgement, that I share this information for the writer, for loved ones who use these products & others I don’t know in real life. After I shared the articles, the writer’s response was “I read the three articles you linked me to. They definitely opened my eyes and I will go out of my way to avoid ALL skin lightening products now. Thank you! I knew most of these skin lightening products are ineffectual, but I never considered the fact that they have damaging effects on health :/”

Filed under dark-skinned south asian and lovely submission Kannadiga fierceness personal story india

122 notes &

Vroom Mate (published in the September 13th, 2012 issue of The Hindu)

She’s crossed many milestones with ease. She’s made people sit up and take notice of her acts of daredevilry. Prince Fredrick tries to keep pace with biker Chithra Priya


People trip over small stones, not mountains: so says an unknown philosopher. Guided by this wisdom, biker girl Chithra Priya sets herself mountain-high goals and achieves them with the minimum of fuss. In December last, she rode a Honda CBR250 over 1,650 km in less than 24 hours and become the first Indian woman to pull off a Saddle Sore endurance ride of this kind (1,609.3 km in under 24 hours), a challenge offered by the Iron Butt Association. She has now set her sights on others mountains — riding on the golden quadrilateral and touching major Indian cities and towns and thereby covering the country in eight days and motorcycling around the world in 80 days.

The international ride is for the long term, but the all-India one is on the cards. “It will happen in January or February next year. Calculations have been pencilled in — I will have to ride a minimum of 800 km daily to make the distance in eight days,” says Chithra. “Circumnavigating the globe in 80 days is a passionate idea that I discuss with friends around the world. Building a network of people is essential to achieving this goal. I am on the job.”

Chithra, now 28, decided in 2010 to live by her two wheels and daredevilry. The choice required her to reorient her life to a different compass. Despite being qualified in visual communication and holding a Masters degree in digital film making and another in international business, she did not take up binding commitments in these areas. A nine-to-five job was ruled out.

Her fulltime biking career began amidst a cloud of scepticism but picked up momentum very soon. This year — and also in the previous one — her career graph has registered spikes. The chronicle of achievements in 2011 includes figuring in a multi-episode show on UTV Bindass that tracked down a group of Enfield-riding women called ‘Bikernis’ as they tackled the challenges on the bumpy road from Leh to Ladakh, being chosen as one of the top six bikers in India by xBHP from an initial entry of 20,000, going on a 15-day stunt tour of Tamil Nadu for Hero Honda and the recognition that came from the grand 24-hour, record-making, endurance ride.

Little wonder that in 2012, she was chosen by the Rotary Foundation as a cultural ambassador to Los Angeles. When the one-month programme came to an end, she extended her stay by two more months primarily to feel the pulse of the biking culture in North America. This interest led her to an international women riders festival in Toronto. Over the two months, she interacted with numerous bikers around the U.S. and Canada and hung out with some of them long enough to forge long-term friendships. Says Chithra, “When I embark on the 80-day global ride, I can count on them for help.”

When she is not exploring the treacherous terrain of endurance racing or taking on corporate biking assignments or going on exploratory tours with other bikers, Chithra trains to hone her circuit and drag racing and bike stunt skills. Her learning includes sessions with the California Superbike School and the Yamaha Racing School. From 2005, she has ended up on the podium many times.

Being committed to biking in its various forms suggests an insatiable passion for the sport, but also points to an underlying philosophy of life. She calls herself a non-conformist and an advocate for personal freedom. “People are alive when they follow their hearts,” she says. Being a full-time woman biker allows her put her philosophy into practice.

Every activity she undertakes is permeated by this thinking. While volunteering for an environment group, she hung from tall buildings to hold a poster that drew attention to a green issue. Serving another, she nursed injured snakes and owls back to health.

Chithra compares life to a journey across the unknown. Enjoying the wonders along the way is the only meaningful thing to do.

The biker girl sums it up, “The ride is the destination!”

Filed under dark-skinned south asian and lovely chithra priya fierceness professional motorcyclist tamil india