About us

Sarbat is a social and support group for LGBT Sikhs. We offer a platform for like-minded Sikhs from all walks of life and aim to promote the LGBT Sikh cause in a fair and courteous manner. We also strongly believe that there is no room for discrimination within our communities for being who we are – We would also like LGBT issues to be discussed openly within our communities without the taboo or any awkwardness attached to it. Moving forward we want local volunteers to commence Sarbat groups around the World. 

What is the origin of the word ‘Sarbat’?

The word Sarbat derives from the final line of the Ardas (the congregational Prayer of Supplication).

Nanak naam chardi kala, terey bhaney sarbat da bhalla

Nanak says that with God’s name comes happiness and well-being, and with Your blessings, may there be peace and prosperity for all mankind.

Are you a religious group?
We are a mixture of both practising and non-practising Sikhs. We are not a wholly religious group but we all share common Sikh values. We try and introduce a religious element into our meetings, where appropriate. We often make trips to various Gurdwaras.

Where are you based?
We are based in London and most of our events take place around here. However, we organise and hold events in others parts of the UK and sometimes beyond. We have held them in Birmingham (2011,2017) , Manchester (2012,2017) , Leeds( 2013,2018), New York (2013), Leicester (2015) and Bradford (2018). If you or someone you know would like to hold a Sarbat event please do let us know.

How often do you hold socials?
There is no set frequency for holding these events and are based on availability and enthusiasm shared by our facilitators. Although typically these meetings take place every two-three months.  All meetings and events are publicised on the Sarbat website (via eventbrite), twitter,and on facebook.

What happens at the meetings?
Meetings are very informal and relaxed. There is no set procedure for the meeting and sometimes focus on a cultural aspect e.g. a history tour or an insight into a contemporary issue affecting us. We also understand that coming for the first time might seem daunting or even scary – all we can say is that we are really friendly individuals who don’t bite.

Are meetings discreet?
Yes, absolutely. Discretion and confidentiality are of the utmost importance to us. Whatever is discussed at the meetings is kept within Sarbat and not disclosed to anyone.

Are you only open to Gay/Lesbian Sikhs?
The meetings are open for all to attend as we believe in equality for everyone but the issues discussed are usually related to Sikh values shared by our members.

Are the emails checked on a Weekly basis?
All our members are unpaid volunteers and try our best to give time to the group despite our busy professional lives. We are not able to answer each and every email in detail but what we can do is to maintain this website so that you are able to address issues (using the forum), make our voices heard, provide a social media space or meet similar people like yourselves.

Which side of the political spectrum do you fall under?
Sarbat is an apolitical group and don’t fall on any left-right spectrum. Sarbat gets a lot of correspondence requesting us to take a stance (or even share political manifestos by individual political parties) which is clearly aimed at posturing and not improving conditions faced by LGBT people living here and elsewhere. We do not share party political messages of any sort on our social media page or website.

Find more about our code of conduct here.

Finally, we are absolutely humbled by the various messages of support we get from all over the world.


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