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.
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 the South East area. However, we hold meetings in others parts of the UK. We have held meetings in Birmingham (2011) and Manchester (2012) in the past and hope to visit various UK cities (Leeds in 2013). If you or someone you know would like to hold a Sarbat meeting in Birmingham, Newcastle , Manchester or any other British City please do let us know.
How often do you hold socials?
Meetings are held roughly every two months. We often take part in other social events in between meetings. All meetings and events are publicised on the Sarbat website and on facebook.
What happens at the meetings?
Meetings are very informal and relaxed. There is no set procedure for the meeting. We often talk about recent events concerning Sikhism as well as wider issues. 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 or meet similar people like yourselves.
Finally, we are absolutely humbled by the various messages of support we get from all over the world.