Shahmir Sanni Profile picture
Sep 6, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Someone asked me why I'm celebrating #Section377 as a Pakistani. It's because in a world that hates us, queer south asians have never had a voice. We face debilitating oppression from the outside world and from within our own communities. [THREAD]
2/ Our solidarity crosses borders

In India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, even among liberal families we are pressured into keeping our sexuality subdued and our opinions silent.
3/ We are pressured into accepting a way of life that isn't truly representative of who we are and what we believe in.
4/ And if we are less privileged, we are raped, forced into marriages, killed in the name of honour, outcasted from our families or forced into living a lie as heterosexuals.

While here in the western world, gay desi men suffer from hyper desexualisation within mainstream media, and queer brown women are left alone in facing the devastating, incomparable pressures of desi patriarchal systems. No one is speaking out for us.
6/ We have no queer icons, no celebrities. Anyone that fights for recognition here in the UK or in the US is met with silence and a deep sense of isolation. We are alone.

Even my own experience is telling.
7/ When I was outed, it was less than a handful of British Asians that made a rallying cry against the violence committed against my brown body. Sayeeda Warsi and Maajid Nawaz were the only South Asian personalities that spoke up for me.
8/ BBC Asian Network never reached out to me, straight South Asian politicos remained absolutely silent. It was white men & women, and black, Indian and Pakistani LGBTQ people that rallied behind me. But most of my own community remained silent.
9/ While English men and women called me a 'national hero' (a claim I most definitely reject), my own community refused to acknowledge my efforts, my trauma or the gravity of what I was doing.
10/ I was shaking the very fabric of British politics but my sexuality was hindering support from the people who should have been loudest. I was drowning - I was alone, isolated, desperate.
11/ But Indian gay men, Pakistani trans women and my friends back in Karachi kept me above the water. Desi queers rallied behind me, told me I wasn't alone.
12/ They knew the struggle I was facing and they were the only ones who could ever understand the depth and weight of it.

The South Asian LGBTQ community has found a safe haven in our shared cultures. And our love, pain and shared trauma cross Lord Montgomery's borders.

From queer icon Poo in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham to drooling over Fawad Khan, queer desis have understood that our humour, food, culture, traditions and shared lived experiences outweigh the obligation to 1947 semantics.

I am relentless in my support for the Indian LGBTQ community and the love I have for my country of birth. Queer desis have always had each others backs. Borders and political differences will never change that. 🇮🇳🏳️‍🌈🇵🇰

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More from @shahmiruk

Sep 14, 2018
Just going to leave this here.
I tried saving you from this mess Darren, but you chose the side of criminals. The High Court decision confirmed that Vote Leave broke the law, too. No matter how much you spin it, the conclusion was the same. You were found guilty.
Come forward with the truth and you can save yourself from too much damage. Matthew will always have money, they’re going to leave you to rot when the police come after you. Don’t forget that.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
This is a reminder to Britain that Steve Baker MP is the same MP who suggested Vote Leave ‘spend as much as money as is necessary’ during the referendum by creating ‘separate legal entities’. This is exactly what Vote Leave did. Vote Leave was found guilty for it. #criminals
.@patmcfaddenmp was the MP responsible for asking the police to investigate Steve Baker. He is now sitting in the office responsible for undertaking the Brexit process. Interesting.…
.@SamCoatesTimes covered it in the Times last year.…
Read 4 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
1/ The LGBTQI community is rife with suicide. We're killing ourselves across the globe because our daily lives are riddled with despair, loneliness and hate. So here's some of my thoughts... #WorldSuicidePreventionDay
2/ I spent my childhood battling thoughts that almost drove me to the edge. Being gay in Pakistan was a daily struggle. Despite having people that loved me unconditionally I was fighting day and night with a debilitating heteronormative pressure.
3/ Moving to Britain helped a little, but it didn't absolve me of that struggle. In Pakistan I feared murder, my own self-hate and the wrath of colonial laws. Here, I was faced with an LGBTQ community that was riddled with racism.
Read 15 tweets
Sep 6, 2018
Today is a historic day for the LGBTQ community. The world’s largest democracy has decriminalised homosexuality. India, we love you. 💚…
This is significant not just because of the size of India but because of how colonial laws have been the bedrock of Hindustan for a century. Out of all the countries that Britain invaded, its archaic laws and practises have affected India the most. Both economically & culturally.
Stripping itself of one of the most prominent of those laws and remnants of that awful time is a huge step not just for LGBTQ Indians, but all South Asians. Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh included. Their time is coming and just thinking about it fills me up with joy.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 2, 2018
This is Jeff Silvester of AIQ visiting Number 10 after he and Zack Massingham (CEO) were invited by Downing Street (and by the Conservative Party) last autumn. AIQ was created by Cambridge Analytica and worked with Vote Leave to break the law. This is why they outed me.
When this was brought to light @10DowningStreet responded that they did not know who had invited them and would investigated. They never followed up. I know, though. It was Theresa May’s most senior advisors who were looking at growing their digital output.
So if for a second you think that @theresa_may was absolved or not part of this entire scandal - I’m sorry to say but you are wrong. It was her closest allies who she has consistently defended that orchestrated Britain’s biggest electoral scandal in modern history.
Read 9 tweets
Aug 28, 2018
I thought we stopped referring to Africa as a single, homogenous bloc and granted Africans the respect of being referred to & addressed by their individual, diverse countries, backgrounds and cultures but I guess it’s all the same to some people. #UKAfrica
British politicians never say “can’t wait to expand trade ties with Asia.” We directly refer to building relationships with India, China, Pakistan, the Middle East, Iran, Kazakhstan, Japan.
There are 54 countries in Africa. Africa is the most diverse continent on the planet and yet we are still using language that perpetuates this idea of the homogeneity of African people and I’m not here for it no matter how much people try to normalise it.
Read 4 tweets

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