Who We Are

Our Mission

Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies was conceived in 2017 for South Asian families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning individuals to learn about LGBTQ+ issues, find community with one another and learn how to better support their loved ones. We serve Desi individuals and families who trace their origins to South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.  Our mission is to foster understanding and acceptance among families, with the goal of affirming and celebrating our LGBTQ+ loved ones.

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Our work is almost all virtual. We host monthly online support and discussion groups for parents and family members of LGBTQ+ individuals, and for LGBTQ+ people who are struggling with family acceptance. We offer educational programs like Proud Possibilities, which feature LGBTQ+ possibility models for our community, as well as speaker events featuring topics such as mental health, raising transgender children and much more. 

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Our Work

Our Stories

Our story started with the experience of one Desi mother who struggled to find support from her community. Not finding anything, she decided to start her own community resource. Now, we are a growing group of Desi parents, allies and LGBTQ+ people all dedicated to the idea that being proud and visible, supporting others and telling our stories will transform the lives of LGBTQ+ children of all ages, and of their families. 

Our members are mostly in the United States and Canada, but our reach extends to other countries and continents where there is a South Asian diaspora. We welcome and celebrate diversity of religion, class, caste and experience, and are united by our desire to support our Desi children and loved ones.

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We started with the intention of supporting parents and building allyship, and that is still the core of who we are and what we do. However, we found that many of the people who reached out for support were LGBTQ+ people struggling with family acceptance, asking to speak to an accepting Desi parent who could give them hope. So we have grown into an intergenerational group of LGBTQ+ people, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and just supportive community members who are dedicated to our mission. Our team is growing every day with wonderful people who want to volunteer their time, their skills and their empathy to build our organization. 

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Our Family

Our Team

Aruna Rao

Executive Director

Reema Mody-Deshmukh

Secretary

Manjula Balakrishnan

Co-President

Aubrey Martinez

Treasurer

Kingston Kodan

Co-President