Hindu-Muslim lesbian couple share stunning pics that 'brought India and Pakistan together'
Religion is something that offers comfort, community, and purpose to billions of people in the world. However, religion can also cause division, especially within marriage and the LGBT community.
Some religions frown upon a person marrying an individual of a different faith, and many religious forbid same-sex relationships altogether. However, one New York couple are being praised for showcasing their love to the world, proving that love can overcome anything, and that a person's faith is not simply black and white.
Sundas Malik, a Muslim artist from Pakistan, and her partner Anjali Chakra, a Hindu woman from India, recently celebrated their one year anniversary together in their new home of New York City. In order to mark the occasion, they enlisted the help of photographer Sarowar, who was able to capture their transcending love in a beautiful photo shoot.
Captioned, 'A New York Love Story', their shoot has now gone viral, and per The Metro, has been praised by more than half a million people worldwide for "bringing together divided nations".
The photos show Sundas and Anjali embracing under an umbrella on a rainy day in Chelsea, and then depict the pair in stunning traditional gowns in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan. Speaking to the Metro, Anjali said:
"It’s been so widespread! People from all over the world have been reaching out to us to say that they were touched by our story and our photos, and that’s so heartwarming. It made us realize that when a whole group of people don’t get representation in the media, simply existing openly as a member of that group makes a difference. ‘We feel good about all the young LGBTQIA girls, non-binary people, and boys looking at our photos, feeling seen and not alone."
In a heartwarming Instagram post, Anjali spoke candidly about the difficulties she has felt in the past as a queer woman, but has now been able to celebrate Sundas meeting 50 members of her extended family at her cousin's wedding:
"HAPPY ONE YEAR JAANUMONKEY
"When we first started dating I used to let go of Sufi’s hand a few blocks before my office when she walked me to work because I was scared people would find out I was queer. Fast forward a year and we spent our anniversary at my cousin’s wedding, where she met 50 members of my extended family who loved her! Here’s to many more years of growing in our love, together."
Sundas also penned a touching caption to her girlfriend, touching on the feelings she felt growing up:
"I grew up witnessing and watching different kinds of love, some in my family and some in Bollywood. after I got a little older and realized what my sexuality was, I never saw representation of people who looked like me. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be that with the love of my life. happy one year babyjaan"
Anjali also spoke out about the love and praise the couple have recieved, as well as the "trolls" who have criticized the couple through homophobic abuse:
"It was amazing to see how quickly our photos spread, and we took the time to talk things through with each other and ground ourselves with close friends and family before responding to anything publicly.
"We realize that [the abuse is] coming from people who likely don’t understand or have exposure to LGBTQIA issues. We want to acknowledge that the homophobia in the comments is indicative of the unsafe and often violent environments so many of our LGBTQIA siblings live in.
"We hope that this representation starts conversations that are a step towards a safer future."
The couple have since thanked many of their Twitter followers for rushing to their defense from trolls, and say how they are thankful to live in New York, where queerness is so widely accepted.
Ladies, keep doing you!