Talk about another step forward within the South Asian community!
[caption id="attachment_14815" align="aligncenter" width="545"] PHOTO BY CHANNA PHOTOGRAPHY[/caption]
Being anything but heterosexual can be a huge challenge in the South Asian community, especially when it comes to telling your parents about your preferences. This was Rishi Agarwal's fear when he had to reveal to his parents that he wished to marry another man. While initially shocked, his parents Vijay and Sushma Agarwal were supportive of his decisions, but faced external roadblocks when they went about planning their son's wedding in 2011. They were turned down by 7 Hindu priests before finally finding one to carry out the religious ceremony.
With all the ignorance about the LGBTQ community they faced personally, Rishi's parents have decided to do something about it:
"...it’s because of attitudes like those of the priests that Vijay and his wife Sushma have decided to launch a new Peel chapter of PFLAG (an organization for parents, families, friends & allies of the LGBTQ community). It’s open to everyone but especially targeted at the South Asian community in Brampton and Mississauga, where LGBTQ kids sometimes face closed minds."
Telling Tamil parents about dating someone of the opposite sex is difficult enough, revealing same-sex relationships becomes all that much harder. However, with proper education, support and resources, parents can overcome the cultural stigmas they've grown up with.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could have the wedding that I wanted with the person I loved and with all my family and my friends.” -Rishi
Read more on this story at The Star.
Recommended read: Seeking Gay Tamil Man.
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