Ibrahim’s story is as unique as it is certainly familiar to many.
“Born in an Indo-Muslim family in Mauritius, I have known and lived a life probably anyone identifying as queer in an ethnic minority would be familiar with.”
A life lived – more often than not – in fear and anxiety with challenges far greater than those faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) people in most places in the world.
Ibrahim however, is fortunate than many others like him in that he has been able to overcome those challenges – many of them at least. Fittingly, he’s now leading a new campaign which focuses on members of the LGBTI community who identify as Asian.
‘Gaysian Faces’ is the brainchild of San Francisco-born London-based journalist and LGBTQ campaigner Peta Cooper and is inspired by a San Francisco art project called ‘The Hapa Project’ which focused on individuals of Asian origin in the United States.
Gaysian Faces takes a headshot of the individual and gives them a piece of paper to write down who they are. The paper is an outlet for their creativity.
For those members of the British Asian LGBTQI community who are not out, Cooper encourages them to cover their face in creative ways.
“The beautiful aspect of Gaysian Faces, it’s not just for Gaysians who are out to their friends and family, but it’s also for members of the community who are not out, but would like their voices to be heard”, Cooper says.
All of their pictures and stories will be featured on Gaysian Faces social media pages with a new picture uploaded every Thursday.
Leading the way as the project launched on 27 August was Ibrahim, one of the stars of Channel 4’s ‘Muslim Drag Queens’.
“Maybe one year or five years down the line, they might come out their love ones and they’ll look back on this project to see how far they’ve come. Coming out is a very personal and private journey, there’s no expiration date”, says Cooper.