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Queering Desi: Season 2, Episode 8: Charmaine Hussain

Updated: Jun 28, 2019

In honor of Pride month, we're celebrating with brand new episodes every week!

This week, Priya chats with Charmaine Hussain about her experience as the mom of a queer and trans teenager.

In this episode, Priya chats with Charmaine Hussain, the proud mom of a queer and trans teenager. Charmaine talks about early childhood experiences for her child, Sameer, and the gender stereotypes that she fell into. Priya then asks about how Charmaine started to confront these assumptions, and Charmaine shares her initial reaction to Sameer's coming out. She opens up about how Sameer helped her navigate her questions and a pivotal experience that opened up their private journey to the public. Then, Charmaine shares how she overcame her fears about log kya kahenge, what people would say, and a truth that helped her realize that society can be more accepting than she thought. Later, Priya asks about how Charmaine developed an understanding about gender identity and Charmaine talks about societal standards of beauty, pronouns, and providing support to her child beyond labels. Finally, Charmaine shares what it was like to share Sameer's journey with her parents in Pakistan, and advice and resources for parents who may be going on a journey of their own. Charmaine ends with advice and an apology to South Asian children, then turns the question on Priya to ask what support they need.

Charmaine, left, with her child, Sameer.

About the guest:

Charmaine Hussain is the proud mom of a queer and trans teenager. As an immigrant to the United States from Pakistan, Charmaine had little exposure to the LGBTQ+ community. When her only child came out, she had to confront her fears and embark on a journey to learn more about what it means to parent an LGBTQ+ child. This turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime and Charmaine cannot be more grateful for all the wonderful role models and brave LGBTQ+ community members she has met along the way. Her believes her life is richer, and she is a better human being because of it. Charmaine speaks on panels, organizes events, and attends conferences in the Bay Area to promote LGBTQ+ family acceptance. She is also part of the Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies—a network of proud LGBTQ+ parents who provide a sense of community and support to other South Asian families within the US.

[Queering Desi logo: Nafeesa Alibhai and Sabina Pang]


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