Asian Heritage Month Canadian Profile: Bilal Baig
May is Asian Heritage Month; the month-long celebration highlights the accomplishments of Asian Canadians and educates others about their history and culture. It also aims to raise awareness of the barriers that many Asian Canadians have had to overcome and the challenges they face.
Keep an eye on our page, as our DEI committee will be bringing you more great content, recommendations and resources throughout the month. We hope that you enjoy, reflect and keep learning all throughout the year.
Bilal Baig is a Canadian writer, poet, and playwright of Pakistani and Muslim heritage. Born in 1995 in Mississauga, Ontario, Baig grew up in a family that encouraged creativity and expression, and began writing poetry and stories at a young age.
Baig’s work is known for exploring themes of identity, gender, and queerness, and challenging stereotypes and conventions. In 2015, they co-created the play Acha Bacha, which explores the experiences of queer people in South Asian communities. The play received critical acclaim and Baig was later short-listed for a Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers in 2022.
In 2020, they created and wrote the CBC series Sort Of, which follows the story of a queer Pakistani Muslim writer navigating their personal and professional life in Toronto. The series premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by HBO Max. The series has won numerous Canadian Screen Awards.
In addition to their writing and artistic work, Baig is also a community organizer and advocate for social justice. They have worked with organizations such as the Toronto Queer Film Festival, the South Asian Women’s Centre, and the Pakistani Feminist Collective. Baig is also a facilitator at Story Planet, where they develop workshops for youth in under-resourced neighbourhoods in Toronto focused on creative writing and literacy.
With their powerful and thought-provoking work, Bilal Baig has become a leading voice in Canadian literature and a trailblazer for queer and South Asian representation in the arts.