3 mins


The founder of QAPI, Pradeep Mahadeshwar, shares why the organisation is necessary and how to get involved.

I am sharing this news of launching Queer Asian Pride Ireland (QAPI) with pride and honour.

QAPI will be a dedicated support group for LGBTQ+ people of Asian heritage living in Ireland and their allies with a primary goal to create an empowering and non-judgmental platform for them. I am collaborating with Tess (she/her), who has over three years of experience organising in education, community empowerment and reform circles. She is a social justice activist with South Asian roots based in the rebel county of Cork.

I have been thinking of forming this group for over four years. During the lockdown last year, I participated in the ProudAF campaign created by Gay Project Ireland. Before that, in April 2020, I began writing an interview series for GCN about Queer Asian immigrants’ lives in Ireland. With both of these initiatives, I got the opportunity to connect with many first and second-generation LGBTQ+ people of Asian backgrounds living in Ireland. We met online, chatted and shared the pain of isolation, lack of positive representation and marginalisation we face within the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland.

The pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society – racism, gender inequality, mental healthcare crises, access to sexual health services, poverty, housing crises, and immigration uncertainties. I witnessed how these inequalities affect LGBTQ+ immigrants’ intersection. Many Asian LGBTQ+ community members are developing mental and sexual health issues which are affecting their daily livelihood - but no awareness and no dedicated resources are available for this intersection. Since then, it has become my main priority to form a dedicated support group to bridge this gap.

Economic migrants coming from Asian countries to Ireland have constantly risen in recent years. LGBTQ+ Asians have a significant share in these numbers. They come to Ireland for many reasons, but recently, one can see them mainly as postgraduate students at universities and the critical skill workforce in the Irish job market. You can also see them growing up as a second generation of migrant parents living in Ireland.

Asian society is a demographically immensely diverse mixed bag of race, gender, religion, class, caste, language, physical appearances, sexual orientation and other identities. In many Asian countries and cultures, being LGBTQ+ is still a crime. Sexual and gender expression often get stigmatised, and people are forced to live a closeted life. The culture, heritage, and traditions housed within Asia make the experiences of LGBTQ+ folks that much more complex.

Some choose to migrate abroad to western countries to live a life of freedom and self-expression. They expect the outwardly progressive western society and evolved LGBTQ+ activism to offer them physical and emotional safety. Unfortunately, in reality, they face racism, xenophobia, cultural stereotypes, fetishism, colourism and isolation. Since the marriage referendum, Ireland has developed an image of a safe space for LGBTQ+ migrants, but the on-the-ground reality can be quite different. Queer Asian Pride Ireland aspires to create the opportunity for cultural belonging and social integration.

Queer Asian Pride Ireland is an open group intended to help people proudly affirm both their Asian identity as well as their sexual orientation. We will actively work against all forms of oppression in society. Through publications, conferences, cultural events, film festivals, Pride celebrations, networking opportunities and collaborative programming, QAPI will work to empower the LGBTQ+ Asian community in Ireland and their allies across the globe.

We are currently creating an online shareable resource document with nationwide information about mentalhealth help, sexual well-being resources, local LGBTQ+ help groups, social groups (running, hiking, yoga and gaming), local queer book clubs, university outreach resources and immigration system FAQs. This resource will help the LGBTQ+ Asian Aimmigrant community to feel connected. Facilitating monthly online and offline meet-ups is also our priority.

We are open to new members and welcome creative collaborations to develop community engagement programs. QAPI is also looking forward to collaborating with other nationwide LGBTQ+ groups to create an inclusive and safe place for Queer Asian immigrants living in Ireland. Soon we will have our first open community meet-up, followed by nationwide survey projects like Queer Immigrant’s Pride at Work and Queer Immigrant’s Pride at University. Trikone and Club Kali are the inspirations behind QAPI.

We don’t want our peers to feel alone and helpless. So please join us, spread the word and keep an eye on our Instagram @Queerasianpride.ie for more announcements.

This article appears in 372

Go to Page View
This article appears in...
Go to Page View
Welcome, dear reader, to the very special Pride edition of GCN!
What are you most looking forward to about being able to celebrate Pride together this year?
NXF in conversation with Misha Tumasov
Give the Gift of Pride
As Pride gets ever closer, many of us are looking forward to reconnecting with friends and marching the streets once again surrounded by rainbow flags.
Preserving Our History
Over 34 years, the lives of LGBTQ+ people, their stories, successes and struggles have been captured in the pages of GCN magazine.
Trans Equality Together
A coalition working to create an Ireland where Trans and nonbinary people are equal, safe and valued will be officially launched this month.
As he takes the reins of the much-beloved LGBTQ+ community space located in the heart of Dublin, Oisin O’Reilly shares with Ethan Moser his vision for the future of Outhouse.
I still find it hard to locate my 'queerness' at times. I genuinely worry about it. Is it at the bottom of a pint in the gay bars or clubs I frequent? Or did I leave it in my house next to my keys?
The work to disregard historic convictions of gay and bisexual men.
This month, our beautiful green country celebrates every colour of the Pride rainbow. Pride has become a glorious country-wide annual occasion full of festivities, fun and jubilation.
In light of plans to open a new pub in The Liberties, Keev Boyle Darby caughtup with John Keelan, a beloved ally and bouncer on Dublin’s LGBTQ+ scene to chat about his addition to the city: All My Friends. Portrait by Hazel Coonagh
Non-binary Lesbians: Identity Based on Inclusion
Lesbianism has an intricate and mixed history, particularly when it comes to gender identity and presentation. Many modern views on lesbianism, however, appear to be attempting to erase this. Leighton Gray and Em O’Connell discuss that, whether done consciously or unconsciously as a means of defence, current views on the community are becoming far too simplistic and stagnant.
The Beat Goes On!
There are icons and then there’s Cher. Conor Behan got a tour behind the scenes of a new must-see stage musical based on the life of one of pop’s greatest stars.
Battling the myth that Disabled People are unhappy, Alannah Murray speaks to friends to find out what sparks joy and how they celebrate their community.
DISSOLVED GIRL : Learning to Live Without Compromise
In a quarantine hotel room in Hong Kong, Nat Mak finally decided they were void.
With Pride season upon us, Saoirse Schad spoke to Matt and Róisín about their experience of being ‘hidden’ during this most colourful and rainbow-filled time of the year.
With over 40 years of support for LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland coming from the Trade Unions movement, Beatrice Fanucci looks back on a lesser known ally for our community.
Making an exhibition
In February 2022, a report in The Journal highlighted the awarding of a café and services tender to Aramark by The National Gallery of Ireland. Artist Brian Teeling explains why this struck a nerve across the country.
Despite many queer women representing Ireland on an international sporting level, the lack of openly queer men has raised questions about whether the male sporting sphere is inherently homophobic. Alice Linehan takes a closer look
“Just two gay lads having a cup of tea and talking shit at the kitchen table.” That’s how PJ Kirby described to Peter Dunne the show he and Kevin Twomey have created. But while it may have come from humble beginnings, I’m Grand Mam has taken the podcast world by storm and shown that nothing brings us together better than laughter
In 1982, Declan Flynn was murdered by a gang of five homophobic men in Fairview park. The tragedy sparked outcry from the LGBTQ+ community, and is seen as a key moment in the development of the country’s queer rights movement, including the emergence of the Dublin Pride parade. 40 years on, as Alice Linehan describes, it is abundantly clear that Pride is as necessary as ever as Ireland is experiencing an alarming rise in homophobic violence.
Dating and Difference AGE
Dating based on demographic status is nothing new. It is nowhere more prevalent than the online dating world. Granted, for the most part, this world mostly stays away from problematic selection processes that may be deemed discriminatory (disability, economic status, etc), though this is an ongoing evolution. Race, for example, has only been removed from the Grindr search filters within the last few years. But almost all dating platforms will ask what age range you’re willing to date within; this, apparently, is more acceptable, describes Adrian Colwell.
Life After Life
Tír na mBeo - The Land of the Living is a new documentary film highlighting LGBTQ+ people in Ireland during lockdown. Its creator, Pradeep Mahadeshwar, shares the journey of making a window into queer lives during a troubled time
Absolutely no regrets
The monumental new photobook by the incredible Niamh Barry, No Queer Apologies, questions the ways in which queerness exists, permeates, and even reshapes the space around us. We are delighted to share its beauty.
Chemsex, also referred to as the After Party scene, has inspired many a conversation amongst the queer community. Naturally, a scene involving drugs and sex will provoke certain perceptions to those who don’t partake, but there is more to it than an easy judgement would suggest. Brian Dillon spoke to the queer creatives looking at the scene head on in a potent new show.
In recent years, the visibility and representation of Transgender people has increased. Across pop culture, sports, politics and the news media, Trans people are more seen and talked about than ever before. This of course, doesn’t come without its downsides, as Ezra Maloney discusses.
It has been 20 years since Eddie McGuiness, his then-partner Paul O’Connor, and artivist and designer Will St Leger launched a brand new publishing venture: a glossy LGBTQ+ culture bible in B5 format called FREE! Magazine. Alan Kelly looks back at a magazine that proved so popular it expanded into the world of telly, extended its reach to the UK, and featured Westlife in their first-ever interview for a gay magazine.
For years now, many queer readers have been focused on the ‘issue’ of presumably straight women writing books about, specifically, gay men...
There is a thriving community of LGTBTQ+ creatives in Ireland making amazing, diverse and inclusive books for children. Just in time for Pride, here are a few suggestions to fill you bookshelves.
‘My Own Personal Sligo’ will be forever rainbow-strewn
Izzy Kamikaze shares a personal journey through the LGBTQ+ agony and ecstasy of a town that could be any town.
Crushing on Queers
It can be exciting when we meet people who buzz off something creative in the same way we do. It’s like a fast-track to some sort of immediate bond. Adrian Colwell shares how this feeling led to the creation of the new social event, Queer Crushes.
The founder of QAPI, Pradeep Mahadeshwar, shares why the organisation is necessary and how to get involved.
From rocks carved into penises to steam-powered vibrators, Louise Blake gives just the tip on a brief history of sex toys that will leave you yearning to know more.
Sports & Fitness
Inspiring the LGBT+ community to be active
Exploring LGBTQI+Healthcare in Ireland
Dr John P Gilmore is Assistant Professor in Nursing at University College Dublin. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright HRB Health Impact Scholar award which will support him to travel to San Francisco next year to research models of community-led LGBTQI+ healthcare
Highlighting LGBTQ+ Creatives
Fans of queer comics may already have come across the work of Floatyspacecat. For those who haven’t, here’s the perfect introduction. Jacob L awrence, the artist behind it all, caught up with GCN and shared their journey
Highlighting LGBTQ+ Creatives
Daniel Mooney is the illustrator behind Mundomoo and this U=U artwork which he made in collaboration with Veda and the Poz Vibe podcast
Looking for back issues?
Browse the Archive >

Previous Article Next Article
Page 112