Asifa Lahore Britain’s First Out Muslim Drag Queen
What does it mean being part of the queer Asian community?
It means everything to me because it’s the community that I feel the most comfortable and accepted in.
What was the journey to finding your identity like?
My journey to being the trans woman I am today was very gradual. I started my transition two years ago when I was 33 and that was after six years of doing drag professionally. I am in a very happy place in my life having had the privilege of coming out again as transgender.
What do you think could be done to help promote the acceptance of LGBTQ people in the Asian community?
The Asian community is influenced by South Asian media and I think that is the key. It would be great to see more LGBTQ friendly roles in Bollywood films for example.
How does your intersection allow you to thrive?
I’m British, Pakistani, a drag queen, trans-woman, a disabled person, a Muslim and above all a bloody brilliant person. My intersections are my strength and I use them to my advantage.
How did you come to be in the public spotlight?
In 2014 I took part in BBC Three’s Free Speech where I asked a question on homosexuality and Islam, and in 2015 I appeared in the
Channel 4 documentary Muslim Drag Queens.
Have you ever faced discrimination or homophobia within your industry?
I’m proud to say that the UK drag scene is very diverse and accepting of new talent. The same goes for the trans community up and down the country.
Do you believe there’s enough queer Asian role models celebrated today?
No, not at all. I don’t think there can ever be enough.
Who are your queer heroes?
Dana International and RuPaul.