5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

These queer South Asian influencers are fostering acceptance, and challenging cultural narratives by tackling gender and sexuality taboos.

5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

"We don’t really get the space that we deserve."

In a world still grappling with the constraints of traditional gender norms, the journey toward acceptance and understanding of queer identities has been slow but steady.

The rigid labels of “male” and “female” are beginning to give way to a spectrum where individuals proudly identify as non-binary, embracing terms like androgynous, intergender, or genderfluid.

Yet, as these diverse identities gain visibility, the media often fails to shed its preconceived notions.

The struggle for recognition and positive representation is especially pronounced in South Asian cultures, where the stigma surrounding gender and sexuality persists.

Against this backdrop, a group of trailblazing individuals is emerging – queer South Asian influencers who are fearlessly shattering gender taboos.

In this exploration, we delve into the lives of five such figures who have become beacons of inspiration, challenging societal norms and celebrating diversity. 

Abhijeet

5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

Hailing from Chicago, Abhijeet stands as a prominent figure in the realm of visual arts and drag performance, proudly embracing the pronouns “they/them”.

Best recognised for spearheading the #BadBeti campaign, Abhijeet drew inspiration from the trailblazing Pakistani-Canadian artist Maria Qamar.

This campaign serves as a powerful clapback against societal expectations dictating the conduct of South Asian girls.

Influenced by Qamar’s groundbreaking series, Abhijeet takes the initiative to challenge these norms through their unique lens.

The #BadBeti campaign becomes a platform for Abhijeet to craft a narrative that transcends traditional boundaries.

The focus shifts towards celebrating the diversity of South Asian femme identities, diverging from the predefined expectations that society imposes.

What sets Abhijeet apart is their artistic expression through drag recreations.

It’s here where they can truly be themselves whilst paying heartfelt tributes to iconic South Asian femme figures.

In this transformative journey, Abhijeet not only embraces the art of drag but also redefines it as a form of homage to the resilience and strength of South Asian women.

Through their creative endeavours, Abhijeet contributes to the broader conversation about identity, representation, and the freedom to express oneself authentically.

Aanya (Coco Supreme)

5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

Aanya, formerly known as Coco Supreme, has swiftly risen as a DJ and producer.

The trans femme DJ of South Asian origin, hails from Buffalo, New York, and is making waves in Toronto.

Garnering attention within a mere two years, she has been featured in THUMP and NOW Magazine for a sold-out event that exclusively showcased Trans Women of Colour, titled “Flowers While We’re Living”.

She has curated and performed at events alongside local underground talents and supported major artists such as Azealia Banks, Nina Sky, LE1F, and Daiburger.

With a vision to establish an inclusive dance floor, Coco’s notable track transforms the Powerpuff Girls theme, paying homage to the gender non-conforming villain, HIM, from the cartoon.

Additionally, Aanya co-curated a Pride Toronto showcase, aiming to bridge the gap between the purported and actual existence of safe spaces for queer and trans people of colour in the city.

Her journey reflects not only musical prowess but also a commitment to creating spaces that celebrate diversity within the vibrant Toronto nightlife.

D’Lo

5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

D’Lo, a trailblazing queer and transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American artist, transcends artistic boundaries on a global scale.

His multifaceted identity as an actor, performer, writer, comedian, and community activist amplifies the voices of the marginalised.

Born and raised in New York, D’Lo has become a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

He is making a notable impact by creating a unique space – one where the dance floor becomes a sanctuary for everyone, irrespective of their identity. 

At the heart of D’Lo’s artistic expression is his identity as a “boi”, a term he embraces to encapsulate a form of soft masculinity.

This choice invites a broader conversation about the fluidity and complexity of identity.

Beyond the spotlight, D’Lo is a creator and facilitator.

His brainchild, the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series, provided a transformative space for participants.

These workshops, designed specifically for South Asian and/or Immigrant LGBTQIA+ organisations, fostered empathy within communities.

His 2023 project, U.N.C.L.E.S. (U Not Crying Leaves Everyone Suffering), continued his exploration of “beautiful masculinity” and addressed issues related to queer/trans mental health.

Speaking on why his thrust for different mediums is so important, he says via his website: 

“I know that art can heal us.”

“It can suture the chasm between generations, and it excavates Gods from religions and places the marginalised as holy.”

His work, documented in academic journals, literary anthologies, and major media outlets such as The LA Times and The Guardian emphasises the significance of his voice.

Vqueeram Aditya Sahai

5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

Known as Vqueeram Aditya Sahai on social media, Vikramaditya Sahai is a writer, queer activist, and educator at Ambedkar University, Delhi.

Embracing androgyny as a compromise between rule-bound femininity and masculinity, they utilise their writing to raise awareness and create sensitivity toward the challenges faced by non-binary individuals.

The gender non-conforming writer, researcher, and vocal queer activist’s contributions span multiple audiences.

Their critical themes in contemporary Indian discussions speak on gender, sexuality, rights, and criminality.

Their affiliation with institutions like the University of Delhi and the Centre for Law and Policy Research underscores their commitment to advancing discourse on these crucial subjects.

With over 20,000 followers on Instagram, their presence is felt in representing queer and LGBTQIA+ communities, but their work is only getting started.

Lucky Roy Singh

5 Queer South Asian Influencers shattering Gender Taboos

Meet the resilient and inspiring Lucky Roy Singh, a vibrant individual whose journey as an LGBTQIA+ person of colour has been marked by profound challenges.

As a trans and queer person of colour, his struggle for recognition persists.

Originating from a Sikh background, Lucky discovered a disheartening sense of isolation and insignificance.

Forcing to live as a woman, he was subjected to mental and physical abuse, disownment, honour-based mistreatment and a fractured marriage.

However, Lucky remained steadfast in the pursuit of change.

Beyond personal trials, Lucky has become a vocal advocate, addressing national conferences, charity events, and training professionals in various sectors.

The pinnacle of recognition came with the 2019 Attitude Pride Award, propelling Lucky into the limelight.

This platform enabled collaborations with major brands and the self-publishing of a compelling diary – Take a Walk in my Big Indian Heels: MR SINGH’S DIARY.

As a proud drag performer, Lucky curated the Queer Asian Takeover as part of Manchester Pride in the summer of 2023. 

The hugely successful event gave LGBQIA+ South Asians the opportunity to portray their artistry.

Speaking on the importance of such a celebration, Lucky stated to the GAY TIMES

“It’s the first time Manchester Pride has done a Queer Asian Takeover.”

“It’s really imperative and really important that we’re doing it.

“The racism that we’re currently facing as queer people of colour, as Brown artists, as Asian artists, [means] we don’t really get the space that we deserve.”

Despite personal triumphs, Lucky remains acutely aware of the ongoing challenges faced by the queer community.

Recognising the dearth of representation, especially within the Punjabi community, Lucky stands out as a trailblazer.

Hear more of Lucky’s story in this exclusive DESIblitz interview:

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The journey of self-discovery and acceptance is still laden with challenges.

However, even in the face of such adversity, a glimmer of hope emerges through the stories of queer South Asian influencers.

“Coming out” takes on a unique significance – not merely a journey toward self-acceptance but a call to visibility within South Asian societies and the broader mainstream.

Amid this ongoing struggle, the importance of representation cannot be overstated.

These influencers serve as crucial role models for the younger generation, offering a roadmap for those still navigating their identities.

Through their visibility, they dismantle the walls of ignorance and bigotry that continue to surround identities.

The world may still have a long way to go, but the stories of these queer South Asians offer a compelling testament to courage and advocacy.



Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

Images courtesy of Instagram.





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