March 16th, 2012
On Friday March the Sixteenth 2012, a fifteen member jury at the Court of Middlesex County, New Jersey found Mr.Dharun Ravi, 20 guilty of hate crimes and bias intimidation. Mr. Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation to his native country, India. On September 22, 2010 Mr.Tyler Clementi (then 18 and Mr.Ravi's roommate at Rutgers) jumped off the George Washington Bridge days after learning that his same-sex encounter was captured and viewed by Mr. Ravi and his friends including Ms.Molly Wei. Mr.Ravi, was not charged with causing Mr.Clementi's death.
Trikone - a South Asian LGBTQ organization, while strongly condemning Mr.Ravi's acts of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, also recognizes the inherent cultural complexities at hand. The case brings to our attention the need for an on-going dialogue with in the South Asian community in the United States and also the sub continent. The tragedy highlights not only the homophobia that is prevalent with in the South Asian community but also the absence of meaningful dialogue in addressing stereotypes and cultural prejudices.
In the coming months, Trikone hopes to partner with mainstream South Asian organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and conduct workshops addressing homophobia, cultural stereotypes/misinformation around gender identity, sexual orientation and sexuality.
A much needed first step is the formation of a Queer South Asian Speakers' Bureau. Please join Trikone at 17 Walter U Lum Place, SF on Sunday April 1st, 2012 from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm for a Speakers' Bureau training session.