Khush: South Asian Gay Men of Toronto

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Khush: South Asian Gay Men of Toronto

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  • Khush: South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association

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      Khush: South Asian Gay Men of Toronto was founded in 1987. The group was first named South Asian Gay Association (SAGA) and was changed to Khush as they extended their membership to include both men and women. In 1989, Khush founded ‘Khush Khayal’, the first South Asian gay newsletter in Canada that was distributed nationally and internationally. They also produced a monthly community calendar of events called ‘Chhota Khayal’ that ran until 1993 and ‘Avec Pyar’, a quarterly zine, in 1996. Khush was a founding member of the South Asian Inter-agency Network which is now the Coalition of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), an advocacy group aimed at improving social services for South Asians in Toronto. Khush also founded the South Asian AIDS Coalition (Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention) which was the first initiative in Canada to address HIV/AIDS issues in South Asian communities. In 1993, Khush founded ‘Ahimsa’ – South Asian Men Against Violence (against women and children) in collaboration with the Coalition of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA). The organization ran a variety of queer South Asian community events such as ‘Salaam! Toronto’, a programme that celebrated diasporic South Asian gay and lesbian cultures and identities in 1989, ‘Desh Pardesh’, an annual festival that highlighted the art, culture, and politics of diasporic South Asians in the West which first began in 1990, and ‘Discovery ‘93’, the first International South Asian Gay Men’s Conference. In 1997, Khush changed its subtitle to ‘Queer South Asians’ to be more inclusive of all sexualities and reflect its diverse membership.


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