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PFLAG Launches New Chapter To Support South Asian LGBTQ Community

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Apr 10, 2016

A new chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Canada will support the South Asian community. 

A new chapter of PFLAG Canada is forming with a mandate to focus on the unique needs of the South Asian Diaspora. The chapter will meet monthly to provide a safe space to support people coming to terms with the sexuality or gender expression of a loved one in the Greater Toronto Area. 

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“The coming out process can be challenging in any culture, and South Asian families face their own unique challenges, such as how other members of the community will react, judge, or reject. Now there is a venue and community support for these families,” says Sushma Agarwal, co-founder with husband Vijay Agarwal and author of Loving My Gay Child – A Mother’s Journey to Acceptance. Sushma came to terms with her own son’s sexuality.

The launch will take place on Sunday, April 17, at 11:00 AM and will include the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and other dignitaries. Kathleen Wynne is Ontario's very first openly gay premier and a firm advocate for global LGBTQ rights and equality. 

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne marches in the Pride Parade in Toronto.
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PFLAG's focus on the South Asian community includes a mandate to raise awareness and provide support to families with South Asian gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people. Meetings will take place monthly as early as May 2016. 

Like many parents, Sushma and Vijay Agarwal expected both of their sons to grow up, marry a lovely girl and raise a family. When their younger son told them in 2004 that he was gay, Sushma was devastated. She wanted to know why this had happened to her family, whom to blame and what she should do next.

Sushma Agarwal
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To come to terms with her son’s sexual orientation, she began to educate herself about homosexuality, a topic that Sushma had no exposure to. She went to counseling and attended PFLAG meetings. After much soul-searching and many conversations with her son, husband and other people, Sushma accepted her son for who he was. 

Cover Art of Loving My Gay Child
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In Loving My Gay Child, Sushma reveals how she came to terms with her son’s orientation, shared the news with friends and family, and finally threw a beautiful traditional gay Hindu wedding for her son and his fiancé. 

Sushma & Vijay threw their son a new Hindu wedding.
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After her journey with her gay son, Sushma vowed to help other parents, especially those in the Indian Diaspora, cope with the pain of a child revealing that he or she is gay. Her hope is that Loving My Gay Child, written by an Indo-Canadian author from a mother’s perspective, will help other parents come to terms with their feelings and accept their children for who they are.

She believes that all families, regardless of their culture and traditions, can overcome the hurt and shock they feel after learning that their loved one is gay. 

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Daniel Pillai

Daniel Pillai


Daniel is the Digital Media Manager for ANOKHI MEDIA and the host for ANOKHI's entertainment channel, PULSE TV. As part of the dream team, Daniel manages all multiple channels under ANOKHI’s portfolio, while also training new on-air talent, and showing budding p...


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