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Alyy Patel

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Power Dyke

Sonali (Alyy) Patel is a trailblazing change-maker & self-proclaimed Power Dyke™, who engages in a multitude of activities and initiatives. Alyy is an innovative young leader fuelled by her passion for fostering inclusive spaces and empowering others to live their best life. 

Alyy is best known for making a revolutionary impact in her community. Following her heart's desire for LGBTQ+ advocacy, Alyy began organizing community events and delivering motivational speeches at schools in the Halton Region in 2015. This eventually transformed into her current global LGBTQ+ activism work, trailblazing research about the discrimination against queer South Asian women, and Diversity & Inclusion Consulting.


From an early age, Alyy has been discouraged from pursuing advocacy work. She was consistently told that it is impossible to change the world. Disagreeing with this sentiment, Alyy “rebelled” by chasing her vision to transform the world into a more inclusive space. She brought her visions to life by leaning into her interests in project management, graphic design, and learning new skills. At present, Alyy’s work has achieved the “impossible.” Queer South Asian women are now increasingly visible in LGBTQ+ spaces and discourses. 

Despite a lack of family acceptance for her sexuality, Alyy openly works to mobilize and visibilize the issues and experiences of queer South Asian women in Western LGBTQ+ communities. Alyy believes it is crucial to address these issues in order to enhance the collective well-being of Queer South Asian diaspora.


Alyy’s journey has not been easy. Throughout her lifetime, Alyy has experienced significant adversities and violence that sought to prevent her from pursuing this work. However, Alyy’s genuine love for people and passion for improving communities carried her through her darkest times. Alyy’s journey with poor mental health has inspired her to live by the philosophy of “lead with love.” This philosophy is integrated into the foundation of everything she does.

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Curriculum Vitae


Significant Milestones

2018 Onward

April 2018

June 2018

March 2019

August 2019

June 2020

March 2021

June 2021

November 2021

June 2022

September 2022

September 2022

May 2023

Pioneered Canadian research on queer South Asian women's issues in Canada by pursuing an undergraduate research study

Attained an honours Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of Toronto: St. George Campus (double major in Sociology & Sexual Diversity Studies with a minor in Gender Studies)

First Peer-Reviewed Publication in the Journal of Lesbian Studies (ranked 7th most cited article of 2019)

Solely founded the Queer South Asian Women's Network (Canadian non-profit organization)

Made Canadian LGBTQ+ history as the first South Asian speaker at Pride Toronto's Dyke March

Elected to represent Oakville Riding in Daughters of the Vote's Virtual Parliament

Co-founded the Queer Gujarati Parivaar (global online collective)

Attained a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Ottawa

Speaker at the Ontario Government's Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

Began PhD at the University of British Columbia

Made the Top 7 South Asians in Canada list for 2023 (awarded by CASSA)

June 2023

Featured on the Yonge-Dundas Billboard for Prime Video's Pride Campaign

Queer Desi

Queer South Asian



Navigating Identity

Balancing queer and South Asian identities in the diaspora is a complex and stressful experience. There is no ‘right way’ to do so and Alyy is still figuring it out for herself—one day at a time. Follow Alyy’s journey of navigating being queer and South Asian on social media!

  • Instagram
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  • Twitter

Alyy also writes about her process of reconciling her queer identity in light of cultural constraints in her book Don't Tell My Parents: Queer Diasporic Truths.

Below are some community & educational resources developed by Alyy Patel.

Community Organizations

Alyy Patel is an avid community organizer that has launched two LGBTQ+ South Asian organizations:


The Queer South Asian Women's Network is a Canadian non-profit organization founded by Alyy Patel in 2019.


The first of its kind, QSAW Network seeks to enhance visibility and a sense of belongingness amongst gender-marginalized LGBTQ+ South Asian diaspora.


The Queer Gujarati Parivaar is a grassroots community collective that was co-founded by Alyy Patel and Flow in 2021.

The Queer Gujarati Parivaar works to connect and celebrate the LGBTQQIA+ Gujarati diaspora.

Educational Resources

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