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How does love thrive – between parents and children scattered around the world, among siblings and friends who can’t meet for years on end? What happens to those who are single and looking for love? And to those who find themselves within the four walls of their home with the one they love?
In case you missed it – over the weekend, Australia’s oldest South Asian queer support group Trikone conducted their second virtual ‘Let’s Talk’ series to discuss ‘Love in the time of Lockdowns’.
Trikone’s latest forum featured a wholesome panel of five speakers from the community, of diverse ages, backgrounds, and relationship statuses. They spoke about romantic love, self-love, maintaining personal relationships, and prioritising mental health, primarily in the context of lockdowns but also from their past experiences.
Since Trikone’s famous Bar Bombay gatherings aren’t an option anymore because of lockdown, this virtual discussion definitely assuaged the need to mingle; just seeing and hearing from folks you aren’t locked down with definitely counts as socialising nowadays.
Guest speakers included Dr Nasreen Shah (clinical psychologist), Kashif Harrison (radio presenter/actor/influencer), Dr Nakul Nigam (health management worker), Dr Shiva Chandra (researcher in Sociology), and Sneha Sobti (blogger and electrical engineer).
The much-welcome discussion lasted 90 minutes and was moderated by Trikone’s genial chairperson, the lovely Kunal Mirchandani.
Attendees from all over Australia joined the live discussion on Zoom and Facebook.
Comments posted throughout the talk showed that the audience widely appreciated and benefitted from participating in the special community space where insights (expert and personal) were shared about South Asian identity and experience.
Over the course of the discussion, it was revealed that some attendees had been separated from their loved ones in India for a long time, some were living alone, and some were trying to cope with poor mental health.
Questions from the audience included ‘How does one maintain a long-distance relationship induced by COVID lockdowns?’, ‘How to stay safe from malicious people and predators when dating online?’, ‘How to deal with close friends and family that are anti-vaxxers’, and crowd favourite -‘What are you grateful during this time?’.
Moreover, the positive stories and accounts that were shared during the virtual discussion were quite cool (and refreshing) to hear.
For example, recent research conducted by one of the guest speakers showed that some people in the 16-30 age group actually flourished during COVID lockdowns.
Apparently, this was because people were restricted to their homes and private spaces. It gave them time to reflect on their sexuality and gender identity; not having to constantly perform gender a particular way gave them space to experiment and reflect on themselves – indicating that lockdowns were productive for some people.
Perhaps the most significant takeaway from this discussion was the fact that even though times are scary and uncertain, we are all struggling; and there’s a sense of community in that, knowing that we’re not alone and remembering to be grateful for the things we do have.
Kudos to Trikone for engaging the community and pulling off a warm virtual forum in a period where things seem mostly melancholic. This edition of ‘Let’s Talk’ certainly cemented the fact that the South Asian LGBTQ+ community in Australia is thriving and is easily accessible even during COVID lockdowns.
And don’t worry if you missed it, you can still watch the entire video discussion on Trikone’s Facebook page here for another week.
READ ALSO: Trikone dazzles at Mardi Gras 2021
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