“Your experience bears witness to the real and lasting changes that have been made on our journey towards LGBT equality.” President Obama to Dhalla, 2015.
Los Angeles-based author-filmmaker, Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla was born in Kenya where he sold his first article to a national magazine, VIVA at age 13. He has since written for various national magazines and his literary/film work have been celebrated at MIT (2004), the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (2009) and at the prestigious Master’s Tea at Yale University (2011).
Dhalla’s critically acclaimed debut novel, Ode to Lata (2002) was hailed by the L.A. Times as “an achievement” and by Library Journal as “brilliant.” In 2008, Dhalla adapted and produced his novel into the motion picture The Ode which premiered at Outfest.
Dhalla’s second novel, The Exiles (formerly published as The Two Krishnas) was praised as “exquisite” by best-selling author Lisa See and “riveting” by LGBTQ lit icon, Andrew Holleran. It was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award (2012). Dhalla’s short film, Embrace which he wrote, produced and directed, was the first ever dramatization of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. It was awarded the Audience Choice Award for Best Director at the IFFCA (2014).
Shiraz is the co-founder of the 501 (c) non-profit, Satrang, a support group empowering and advocating for the rights of the South Asian LGBTQ community in Southern California, and the South Asian Program at APAIT which provides free community health education, testing and support to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. For his activism and groundbreaking literary work, Dhalla was awarded the Satrang Visionary Award (2013) and received a letter of acknowledgment from President Obama (2015).