Board Updates – Feb 2014

Trikone is happy to announce updates to its board.

We have a new liaison, Suhas, who has agreed to be our Outreach Director.

Starting today, Mukund, officially became a voting member of the Board in his role as the Treasurer.

The current board is made up of – Madhuri, who is the Chairperson and Interim Development Director; Ali, who is the Secretary and Interim Communications Director; Mukund, who is the Treasurer; Monica, who is the Advocacy Director; and Suhas, who is the Outreach Director (in the liaison role).

Congratulations to the board!

South Asian LGBTQ Groups in North America Disappointed with India’s Supreme Court Ruling, Recriminalizing Homosexual Sex

December 12, 2013

For immediate release

Groups Organizing Coordinated Protests this Friday, December 13, across the U.S.

As South Asian LGBTQ organizations based in North America, we are shocked and disappointed by the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to re-criminalize homosexual sex in India by reactivating Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

377 is an arcane and draconian ban on homosexual sex that was imposed by the British Raj across South Asia and other colonies in the 19th century. It should have no bearing on the present-day rights of citizens in free countries. We stand with awe-inspiring Indian LGBTQ activists and allies who have fought for decades to repeal the ban and are heartened by the millions of Indians who oppose it. We are more determined than ever to help remove the indignity of 377 from the Constitutions of not just India, but all countries where it was forcibly levied.

Make no mistake: the Supreme Court has taken away fundamental rights that their own judicial peers convincingly argue are guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. In 2009, in a historic decision rooted in Indian jurisprudence and culture, the Indian High Court of Delhi declared 377 unconstitutional. For 150 years, 377 was used to brutally persecute sexual minorities across the country, and the Delhi Court correctly argued that the violent and foreign law contradicted the Constitution’s promise of absolute dignity and equality for all Indian citizens. Its decision effectively decriminalized homosexual sex across India for over four years – profound progress that the Supreme Court invalidated yesterday.

Where the Delhi Court’s ruling was bold and powerful, the Supreme Court’s decision is heartbreakingly timid. In overturning the Delhi decision and reinforcing 377, the Court side-stepped many questions on the merits of the case, and provided superficial and incorrect assessments of the rest. Ignoring history altogether, it claimed that 377 does not discriminate against any group, but “merely identifies certain acts” as illegal. The bench also implied that protecting the rights of LGBTQ persons was not their job but that of the Indian Parliament.

The Court is wrong.

The Indian Constitution not only empowers the judiciary but also requires it to protect minority rights. Rather than proving itself equal to the task, India’s highest court has sent the dangerous message that minority rights should be vulnerable to the whims of the majority. Its decision is nothing short of a dereliction of their duty to uphold the Constitution.

But the fight is not over. Activists of all stripes are determined to defeat 377. We stand in solidarity with activists from Naz Foundation, the lead plaintiff calling for a repeal of 377; Humsafar Trust, a leading HIV/AIDS and sexual minority support and advocacy group in India; Voices Against 377, a diverse group of organizations and Indian leaders who oppose the ban; and countless other groups, writers, activists, politicians and community organizers that have worked tirelessly to construct growing spaces where LGBTQ people can live without fear of violence or discrimination in India. We are deeply inspired by their renewed determination to repeal 377. As immigrant-based groups, we are especially concerned about the impact this setback will have on South Asians who worry that their government does not welcome them. In the days to come, we will create spaces where fair-minded South Asians can protest the Supreme Court’s decision, support each other and assist leaders of the cause.

As a start, this Friday December 13th, South Asian LGBTQ organizations are organizing a series of coordinated candlelight vigils across the United States and Canada to lend some light to the Indian government, because the Supreme Court decision on IPC 377 demonstrates the degree to which India is still in the dark.

We have also created a YouTube channel for members of our communities to voice their anguish, concern, and solidarity via video message.

Please check our Facebook and Twitter feeds, or email organizational leads for details about these and future initiatives. In your social media comments, please use #377updates and #377insolidarity so we can compile our community’s responses.

In solidarity,


Khush – Tejas


SALGA – New York

SALGA – Philadelphia



Trikone – Atlanta

Trikone – Chicago

Trikone – North-West

hotpot! Philly

For Satrang,
Almas Haider
Chair, Satrang (Los Angeles, California)

For KhushDC,
Sapna Pandya
President, KhushDC (Washington, DC)

For Trikone,
Monica Elise Davis
Advocacy Director, Trikone (San Francisco)

Trikone would like to commend SCOTUS decision to overturn DOMA

June 26, 2013

For immediate release


Trikone would like to commend the majority decision by the Supreme Court of the United States of America to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. Today’s historic decisions will have lasting benefits to our community. Trends are positively shifting for support of same-sex marriages. With the overturn of DOMA, same sex couples who are married in states that recognize same sex marriages as legal will now be able to avail themselves to all of the equal rights and benefits, including the same federal tax, survivor, estate, retirement, and health-care benefits that straight couples already benefit from. The Supreme Court also ruled narrowly ruled on the Proposition 8 case, deciding that the opponents of same-sex marriage who were defending the case have no legal standing to bring the case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, nor the Supreme Court. Essentially, same sex marriage will resume in California.

Trikone is excited for today’s decisions and we also recognize that marriage equality is only a small piece of our community’s broader efforts to reach equality. We will continue to seek justice.

Tonight, we will be celebrating at Castro & Market at 6:30 PM at the “Day of Decision” Block Party & Celebration.

For Trikone,
Monica Davis
Advocacy Director

DesiQ 2013 Conference starts with an exclusive movie screening, caps off with a mix & mingle gala

June 12th, 2013

For immediate release


DesiQ 2013, a unique queer South Asian conference kicks off the event on the night of July 3rd by showing Nilanjan Neil Lahiri’s “The Ode” based on the novel, “Ode to Lata” by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla. The screening will be at the Delancey Street Theater in San Francisco. Confirmed at the screening are two of the movie’s actors, Sachin Bhatt (Bombay Dreams) and Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced). The conference panels and discussions will be from July 4th-6th on the UCSF Mission Bay Campus. Topics are wide-ranging, contemporary and evocative from art to spirituality to politics to sexuality. The international range of presenters include prominent and passionate individuals from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Canada and the United States. Several prominent speakers include Anjali Gopalan, Executive Director of Naz India; Gautham Raghavan, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; and Madhu Malhotra, Program Director of Gender, Sexuality and Identity at Amnesty International.

The three day conference ends on the night of July 6th at a chic Gala across the bay in Oakland at the Scottish Rite Center. The event will include dining, drinks and dancing. New York’s own DJ Rekha (Basement Bhangra) will be spinning beats poppin’ beats on the dance floor.

Visit the DesiQ 2013 website for registration, schedule, speakers, parties and housing.

For Trikone,
Monica Davis
Advocacy Director

DesiQ 2013

Trikone is proud to host DesiQ 2013, a conference on South Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. This will be Trikone’s fourth such conference since 1995.

DesiQ 2013 calls all South Asian queer and trans folk—activists, organizers, and artists; students, workers, and professionals; youth, seasoned mid-lifers and our silvered elders—to come together and dialogue, gossip, strategize, dance, eat, flirt, listen, contribute, learn, connect, collaborate, make friends, and generally celebrate our amazing and beautiful selves, communities, and lives!

DesiQ 2013 Conference will be held on July 4-6, 2013 at UCSF Mission Bay Campus, San Francisco and Gala will be held on July 6, 2013 at Scottish Rite Center, Oakland.

Click here for Schedule details.
Click here for Location details.

You can also find DesiQ 2013 on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Trikone and its allies announce DesiQ 2013

May 1st, 2013

For immediate release



Trikone, the oldest LGBTQ South Asian organization in the world, announces the fourth DesiQ Conference, an international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) South Asian conference, on July 4-6, 2013 in San Francisco.

Registration is currently open on the DesiQ website.

DesiQ is the only conference in the world that brings together a diverse, powerful, and inspiring group of South Asian LGBTQ activists, allies, artists, leaders, and partners.

The vision of DesiQ 2013 is to create a global powerhouse of South Asian LGBTQ persons working collaboratively to promote equality for queer South Asians. LGBTQ South Asian community leaders and allies will come together to address the economic, political, and social issues affecting our community around the world. Over 35 workshops will be hosted and over a dozen national and international ally organizations will be represented.

More than 250 South Asians are expected to attend three days of plenaries and workshops at University of California Mission Bay Campus, San Francisco. DesiQ will culminate with a gala dinner at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center that will recognize some of the leading South Asian LGBTQ activists across the globe. Notable attendees will be announced by June 1st.

The first DesiQ Conference started in 1995, followed by the second in 2000, and the third in 2006. Previous conferences have had keynote addresses by thought leaders such as Urvashi Vaid (previous Executive Director of Arcus Foundation), Surina Khan (previous Executive Director of IGLHRC), and Samina Ali (a Muslim American ally and author).

The All-in-One Pass starts at US$ 190 and an exclusive Student Pass is offered at US$ 75. Scholarships and sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, visit DesiQ website.

For Trikone,
Monica Davis
Advocacy Director

DesiQ 2013 Website Live!

We’re still adding content and you should probably wear a hard hat to avoid falling debris, but we decided it was high time we removed the “beta” label and launched the site.

Please check out our requests for proposals if you’d like the opportunity to contribute to conference content. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 10, 2013, so don’t delay! If workshops, panels, or artistic expression isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like to make a donation?

If all you really want to do is bring your fabulous self, hang tight-conference registration will be available soon!

Trikone applauds US Federal appellate court’s ruling against DOMA

May 31st, 2012

For immediate release


In a narrow ruling, a Federal Appeals Court in Massachusetts (First Circuit Court) unanimously declared that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples. The case was filed by a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts, who under DOMA were prevented from filing joint federal tax returns. The court however was not asked to rule if same-sex couples enjoyed constitutional right to marriage or if individual states have the right to ban same-sex marriage. The court also stayed its’ ruling for the Supreme Court. The Justice Department under the guidance of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder refused to defend DOMA and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group convened by Speaker John Boehner defended the law during the trial proceedings. Also this year, two Federal Courts in California have found DOMA unconstitutional, violating the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment. A federal appeals court in California also found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Trikone applauds the First Circuit Court’s 3-0 ruling and hopes that the Supreme Court brings prompt justice to pending DOMA cases. That two of the three  Justices presiding in this case were appointed by Republican Presidents makes this ruling a clear cause for upholding civil rights, beyond the partisan rhetoric.

For Trikone,
Harsha Mallajosyula
Advocacy Director

Annual Letter 2011

As a new Trikone board, we wanted to take a moment to update our friends on all of the wonderful work that Trikone has been doing over the past year.

2010 was a year of much change. Many members of the earlier Board had to leave and move to other cities, take up new jobs, or pursue new interests. There was a time when the Board had shrunk down to just three brave souls – Manoj, Praney and Ray. But thanks to a steady stream of volunteers (and tireless recruiting) we are back to nine enthusiastic members filled with ideas for
new programs and activities.

As part of a capacity building grant from Horizon, we worked with an external consultant to survey the community and gather recommendations on the short and long term priorities for Trikone. We
made some organizational changes based on the consultant’s recommendations: Poonam returned to the Board as an interim co-chair, and along with Amar, have been our fearless leaders.

Ali, as the new editor, published two issues of the magazine last year. The magazine reached out to over 200 subscribers worldwide. Trikone magazine is now also available in an electronic format
and can be purchased online.

We had many exciting events last year. Bollywood by the Bay was a memorable dance party that served as an event bridging the Trikone community and Asha ( We celebrated Pride by marching in the Parade, having pre-pride parties, and of course, our famous Dyke Brunch. Not to forget, Kulture Kulcha was a big hit with nearly 300 guests. In addition, we had a big and festive presence at the India Day Parade to reach out to a larger South Asian community in the Bay Area. We organised multiple Chit Chat ‘n’ Chai events, thanks to our many volunteers who offered to lead the events.

We also had the annual town hall meeting to seek guidance and feedback from the community. Many members expressed the need for more events in the south bay, more social events, especially those bridging Trikone and the Women of Trikone, and more advocacy and outreach opportunities for the community. In response, we are planning a slew of new events this year – more Trikone potlucks, same-sex Bollywood dance lessons in the South Bay, hikes, camping trips, and perhaps even a ski-trip by the end of the year.

It wasn’t just all parties and celebration. Thanks to Harsha, the Advocacy Director, we are building up an Advocacy Team of volunteers and are working hard to make a difference for LGBTQ South
Asians everywhere. We coordinated a media response, on behalf of Trikone members, over the outrageous treatment that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) meted out to the Late Dr Siras. We contacted major Media Outlets condemning TV9’s sting operation in Hyderabad where they outed many young gay men. TV9 eventually apologized and was also fined. We participated in SF AIDS Walk and raised several hundred dollars.

Looking forward, we are hoping to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Trikone with a Big Splash! Planning is underway for a special edition of Kulture Kulcha for this year. Email Manoj if you want to be a volunteer or participate at the event. Planning is also underway for a big bash at Pride, talk to Amar to learn more and help out for Pride. Volunteering for Trikone is a fun way to make new friends, give back to the community, and perhaps even meet that special someone!

Volunteering for Trikone is a fun way to make new friends, give back to the community, and perhaps even meet that special someone!

The monthly Board meetings are now open to the community. Look for announcements on Facebook ( and the Trikone website.

And of course, as always, your support keeps the organisation running. Please contribute whatever you can at We’re giving out a free magazine subscription with every donation of $100.

We are looking forward to an exciting 25th year anniversary!

Trikone Board

25th Anniversary Gala

25th Anniversary Gala

Bollywood / Bhangra Dance Party of the year – Over 250 tickets sold!

September 10, 2011 at St Mary’s Cathedral (Gough and Geary), San Francisco, CA

Featuring DJ Rekha of Basement Bhangra fame: most sought after Desi DJ in North America!

Event themed Cocktails created by Top Chef Contestant Preeti Mistry (Cash Bar)

Celebrate for a cause: proceeds go towards Trikone (South Asian LGBTQ support non-profit)

Named ambassador of bhangra by the New York Times, DJ Rekha has been instrumental in placing bhangra and contemporary South Asian dance music on the map in North America. Rooted in bhangra and hip-hop and Bollywood, her DJ sets range from Brazilian Baile Funk to Balkan Beats and everything in between. She is founder and resident of Bollywood Disco and Basement Bhangra one NYC’s longest running dance parties.