Asifa La­hore Bri­tain’s First Out Mus­lim Drag Queen

Gay Times Magazine - - CULTURE -

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.

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