Finding Community as Queer Desis: Saima and Bianca


Saima and Bianca found each other at a time when finding other brown gays wasn’t easy. Safe spaces and online communities for queer desis were just starting to emerge seven years ago, and it felt like there just weren’t that many queer desi people or that they were impossible to find. It’s in one of these communities for queer desis that Saima and Bianca found each other. Bianca is a DJ and music producer, and Saima works in strategic sourcing for the aerospace industry, and they were both part of the South Asian creative community in LA. This community had a queer brown creative community within it that hosted a spoken word event called “Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love,” which is where Bianca and Saima first met and hit it off. 

At first they were just casually dating, living their independent lives and hanging out between their busy schedules and travel. It was easy for them to be around each other right from the start, and they ended up telling each other their coming out stories on their first date. Bianca’s family is Columbian/South Indian Christian and Saima’s family is Pakistani Muslim, and both were able to connect over their similar conservative backgrounds and experiences on coming out. There was also a mutual cultural understanding about their experiences as queer desis that helped them connect and accept each other. About a year in, they started to realize that they had feelings for each other and that this had the potential to become something more serious. At first they were in major denial about this, but a spontaneous trip to Bali changed everything and they made it official!

After three years of dating, Bianca proposed while they were visiting Bianca’s family in Colombia. They were staying on the island that her family is from, and there’s really nothing better than a proposal in paradise! At this point they discussed long-term plans and talked about rings and Saima was also planning the proposal, but Bianca beat her to it. The happy couple has been married for about two years now, and had a 200 person wedding in Bianca’s dad’s backyard. 

When they got married, it was hard on their families because their story went so public, and it brought a lot of judgment from the community onto them as well. While it was a difficult and ongoing process, as their families got to know one another they saw the genuineness in their relationship and learned to accept them. Now their families are involved in their relationship, which is something they never would have expected to happen initially! It also helped that they both had big families and supportive cousins and friends. They started by introducing the younger generations first, and seeing them openly love and accept them helped the older generations adapt.

Seven years later, Bianca and Saima love that they still make each other laugh and have a lot of fun together. They have the ability to be independent while caring about each other and building a life together. They were lucky to have met after they had pretty much figured themselves out individually, and now they’re happy they can grow together. They’re grateful and consider themselves lucky that they met by chance, because being South Asian and queer is hard, and it’s hard to find other desi queers in the community in general. They’re happy that apps like Dil Mil are now providing more access for the community to find each other and connect over shared experiences!

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