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Interested in adding your story to the Archive?

If you are interested in being interviewed and having your life story included in the Archive, we are so excited to potentially interview you! Anyone who we interview will be included in the Archive as long as they are eligible (see eligibility requirement to the right). People who are interviewed will have the ability to decide how they want to share their life story in the archive (audio, transcript, and/or other materials).

 

First, please review the eligibility guide to the right. If, after reviewing it you are eligible or have any other questions around safety or privacy, then reach out through the contact page. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Once you reach out via the contact page or directly to dr. kehal (kehal@wisc.edu), we will share a form for you to fill out to begin the process.

CURRENT INTERVIEWING STATUS:

NOT CONDUCTING NEW INTERVIEWS

Eligible? Who can participate in this project?

This research project specifically focuses on the history of Sikh LGBTQIA+ adults (at least 18 years of age) of any descent who spent their formative years in California. The project is focused on California, but it also includes people who had their formative experiences based in CA and may currently live somewhere else in the United States (i.e., “grew up in CA or spent a large part of my life there but now live somewhere else”). If you lived or grew up somewhere else and now live in California, you are eligible.

We highly encourage and want to extend a special invitation to those most marginalized in the Sikh kaum (ਕੌਮ), such as on the basis of racism, casteism, gender and sexuality (biological dimorphism, the patriarchal and cisheterosexist organizations of relations), capitalism, documentation, and ability. We do not wish to further erase your place in the kaum and are happy to work with you to ensure your safety and comfort through this experience.

While we know there are important life histories outside of California, our resources and labor are limited at this moment. We hope to one day interview Sikhs outside of this narrowed context.

 

In the meantime, if you are interested in creating an oral history archive for your own local community of LGBTQIA+ Sikhs, feel free to reach out for questions through the contact page and review the resources page.

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What to expect?

Individuals who agree to be interviewed can expect the following typical process:

  • (A) A 90-120 minute formal interview or (B) one 30-minute pre-interview and a formal interview.

  • Participants will be compensated $100 for their time for a formal interview through a gift card and $150 if they completed a pre-interview and formal interview.

  • Interviews will be conducted virtually or, if possible, in-person.

 

Our interviewees’ (narrators’) privacy and security is of utmost priority. We are happy to share more about how we are protecting interviewee data and identity for anyone who has questions.

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What will we talk about in the interviews?

We hope to understand the many ways how LGBTQIA+ Sikhs understand themselves and how this may have changed throughout their lives. Participants get to decide the direction of the interview but some common topics could include experiences with growing up Sikh in the U.S.; navigating being of a migrant-descendent community in the U.S.; and/or negotiating boundaries of gender and sexuality while in different ethnic, political, and religious spaces.

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Will this project be made public?

After the interviews are completed, they will be made publicly available on this website as a resource where others can listen, read, and learn. That said, the research team takes safety and privacy concerns seriously. While you will be able to choose a pseudonym for yourself, we also have multiple measures available to address individuals’ data privacy and identity concerns. For instance, those who do not want to share the audio recording of their interviews may choose to only share an edited version of their interview's transcript. We are happy to share this information and other practices with folks directly, discuss this further in the pre-interview, and share a copy of the informed consent document.

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Why are you doing this project?

The histories, experiences, and personal reflections of LGBTQIA+ Sikhs living in the United States have been largely undocumented or erased. This Archive will document the stories of LGBTQIA+ Sikhs through a series of interviews, with the purpose of (1) creating space for LGBTQIA+ Sikhs to reflect upon and narrate their lived experiences and (2) providing a more complete picture of LGBTQIA+ Sikh history in the United States.

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