December 16, 2018

DAVIE VILLAGE POST Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada LGBTQ2+ Hub

Sikh Pride marshal reflects on difficulty coming out

Photo Credit To Jennifer Gauthier

Alex Sangha struggled to come out as a gay man, enduring emotional crises and contemplating suicide. Coming out can be difficult for any person — especially years ago, before governments codified human rights and equal marriage — but Sangha thinks members of some ethnocultural communities have a tougher time due to religious and family pressures.

Sangha is a Sikh man, but he faced backlash from members of his religious community when he founded Sher Vancouver, in 2008, as a Sikh gay group.

“At that time, the president of a Sikh temple said there was no such thing as gay Sikhs,” Sangha recalls. “A South Asian radio station had a poll and I think 85 per cent of the people said ‘we will not support a gay Sikh group.’ So we strategically turned it into a gay South Asian group. We separated it from religion.”

Nevertheless, the vast majority of members, he says, are Punjabi Sikhs.

The negative attitudes underscored Sangha’s feeling that such a group was necessary.

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Post source : Pat Johnson, Vancouver Courier

About The Author

Rick has lived in Vancouver since 1991 - first off Commercial Drive and now in Renfrew Heights - with his husband of 34 years, Dan. He has a background in travel, an interest in LGBT history, and a fondness for all that is geek. As co-publisher of Davie Village Post, he looks for stories and news which are relevant to LGBT Vancouver, and invites you to submit your items and ideas.

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