Agony! Dad on Grindr, Coming Out and How to be a Drag King

asifa lahore

Asifa Lahore

Asifa Lahore is a British Asian drag artist. She hosts and DJs at two of London’s most successful LGBT World Music nights, Club Urban Desi and Disco Rani. A fully out and proud British Muslim, Asifa is a pioneering figure within the gay Asian community and one of the new generation of drag queens on the London circuit.

Vada’s new Agony Aunt, Asifa Lahore, takes on your AGONY so that you don’t have to! Readers’ woes this week: Dad on Grindr, Coming Out and How to be a Drag King:

 

My dad’s gay and was with his partner for 5 years. They split up a few months ago but the other night I saw his profile come up on Grindr. I’ve never hit block so quickly in my life. I totally get that he’s a man and can do what he wants, but it creeps me out that my friends can see him on there and who knows. He said hi to my friend the other day apparently and I just got the piss taken all night! I don’t even want to think about what goes on. Do I just ignore it?

Ooooh we’ve got a sexy daddy on the prowl! In all seriousness you should definitely talk to him about this and not bottle things up. Remember he is your father and, like you, he has the right to date whoever he wants. Your relationship with him is all the more special as you share the same sexual orientation and this needs to be respected on both sides. You will more than likely bump into each other on social media, clubs, parties and saunas so it’s important to be honest about your feelings. Tell him how you feel about his new found single status and the experience with your friends. Chances are that he probably feels the same apprehension of having a single gay son. Being honest and open with your dad will strengthen your relationship and will make you realise that you can both help each along in the dating game as well as setting the boundaries of space that clearly every relationship needs. Lastly celebrate the fact that you have a gay daddy and stick up for him and be proud of him!

Hi Asifa! I’m a big fan. I think you’re an inspiration. I’m from Singapore originally and my family are very conservative. I cant even imagine a time when I can be open with them about my sexuality. How were your family? Should I just do it? It doesn’t feel that bad living a lie with my family, just don’t want to do it forever!

Oh honey, I really empathise with you. I come from a conservative Pakistani Muslim background and although my experiences of coming out continue to be challenging, I am always proud of who I am and where I come from. Living a lie may be the safe and easy option in the short term but will lead to anxiety, stress and depression in the long term. You have a right to lead a healthy, happy and content life and despite the obstacles that are in your way, you can achieve the life you want to lead. Firstly, get a strong support network around you. Talk to friends you trust or maybe join a social support LGBT group if you are lucky enough to have one in your area. Once you are ready, test the waters with your siblings. In the long run it will be siblings that will help you and influence your parents to be supportive. If your siblings aren’t supportive and you still feel strongly about coming out then take the brave step of telling your parents. Remember that you’ve had years of dealing with being gay so give them time to deal with it too. You may have to answer challenging questions, some of which you may not have answers for or want to disclose, but try and be honest and support your parents. I wish you the best of luck and please keep me and Vada updated on your progress. Massive Lahore hugs!

I’ve been thinking about trying out drag for ages. I think I’d make an awesome drag king! Drag kings don’t seem to be that visible on the scene though compared to drag queens. Any tips on how to get started? Where in London should I try?

I firmly believe that if something is invisible, make it visible! To many, I was the first South Asian drag queen on the mainstream London LGBT Scene when I first started and I totally embraced all aspects of my identity. Firstly, always stay true to the person you are and don’t try and be something you are not. Decide whether you want to be a comedy king, a club king or a beauty king and focus on creating a look and a character. Experiment with make up and fashion to bring out the character that you want to be. Remember with drag it’s all about being bold so the bigger, the better! Once you have the look and character think about entering competitions or doing guest spots at your local gay venue. The annual Drag Idol UK competition is a great platform for budding new talent and it was were I won the bronze award in 2012. Good luck and snap a lash baby!

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