Too Desi Too Queer

Parkside Lecture Theatre (P350) | 5 Cardigan Street | Birmingham | B4 7RJ

A celebration of the South Asian LGBTQI+ experience through film, dance and conversation.

Birmingham Indian Film Festival, Sampad and Birmingham City University come together with Film Hub Midlands, Saathi Nights and Brum Asians LGBT to present an evening exploring and celebrating the South Asian LGBTQI+ experience and wellbeing with screenings of new and classic short films in a safe and friendly space.

The screening of short films will be followed by an informal panel conversation with input from the audience.

Chair: Rajinder Dudrah, Professor of Cultural Studies & Creative Industries


  • Khakan Qureshi
  • Asifa Lahore
  • Dr Karen Patel

(More names to be confirmed – Line up subject to change)


Dr Rajinder Dudrah is Professor of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries, based in the School of Media in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

Rajinder’s academic interests are in the areas of film, media, cultural studies, and creative industries including: Bollywood cinema, Black British representation, popular music, diasporic and transnational media, television studies, and in cultural theory and qualitative research methods as applied to popular culture and creative industries research. Rajinder is also one of the founders and co-editors of the internationally peer reviewed journal South Asian Popular Culture with Routledge publishers.

Khakan Qureshi is the founder of Finding a Voice, a Birmingham based multi-faith support group for South Asian LGBTQI+ aged 18+. Khakan is also a Stonewall LGBT School Role Model and Diversity Role Model, which has enabled him to attend public speaking events in academic institutions and organisations across the UK. He was listed on The Independent Rainbow List 2015, shortlisted for the National Diversity Award, European Diversity Award and nominated for the MSM Campaigner of the Year. Khakan has written articles about his experiences of being LGBT & Muslim for several major digital magazines including Attitude, Buzzfeed and Gay Star News and shared his coming out story with the website R U Coming Out and anti-bullying Being Me campaign.

Khakan is an Ageing with Pride Ambassador, part of a campaign which encourages the LGBT+ community to bridge the gap between young and old, and is on the multi-faith advisory board for the National Faith & Sexuality survey in the UK.

Asifa Lahore is Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be LGBT+ and Muslim. In 2014 Lahore came into the national spotlight when she was famously censored from discussing Islam and Homosexuality on BBC Free Speech. Having featured in Channel 4’s groundbreaking documentary Muslim Drag Queens in 2015 which drew in an audience of 1.1 million viewers, Asifa was acknowledged as a leading figure within the Gaysian community receiving the Attitude Magazine Pride Award.

Asifa’s impassioned activism on intersectionality, race, gender and religion has led her to speak at prestigious institutions such as the Lost Lectures, Channel 4 Diversity Festival, Women of the World Festival, the British Library, and the Oxford Union. She has also been the face of C4’s 2016 diversity campaign, ‘True Colour TV’. Asifa continues to promote and DJ at London’s top Gaysian club nights, Club Kali and Disco Rani. Asifa’s journey into the spotlight has been a deeply personal one through which she discovered her transgender identity and continues being a voice for intersectional Britain.

Dr Karen Patel is an AHRC Leadership Fellow based in the School of Media at Birmingham City University.

Karen’s current research, in collaboration with Crafts Council UK, seeks to address inequalities in the UK craft sector. Karen’s main academic research interests centre on issues around inequalities and diversity in the craft and cultural industries, craft as creative practice, concepts of expertise in cultural work, diversity in cultural leadership, and social media platforms as a form of creative practice.

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