The opinions presented in this article are not those of the Underground, and are of an anonymous student.
By Sergio Arangio, Senior Editor
One day after former SCSYou presidential candidate Anup Atwal was alleged to have made a transphobic remark on an SCSU board of directors group Facebook chat, it seems as though another member of the slate has made an insensitive remark surrounding the LGBTQ+ community.
On Feb. 7, The Underground received an anonymous email containing a screenshot of a conversation with vice president external candidate Chaman Bukhari. The conversation appears to show Bukhari writing in Urdu. An Urdu-speaker told The Underground that the messages translate to “useless, same LGBTQ bullshit.” The original source did not provide any additional context for the exchange.
The Underground showed Bukhari the screenshot whilst he campaigned metres away from SCSU polling booths in UTSC’s Bladen Wing. He initially said he did not remember the context of the exchange but that it was likely not as inflammatory as the screenshot made it seem.
“I do not believe at all that the LGBTQ thing is nonsense,” Bukhari said. “We literally ran on a slate which said we’re going to have Pride games for the LGBTQ. My best friends have been queer, so this is not a joking [matter].”
He went on to emphasize the importance of context in sensitive matters like these.
“We take one sentence out of the entire book and we say, ‘look, you made that remark.’ Just because you call something nonsense in a particular context, doesn’t mean that you believe the entire idea is nonsense.”
When asked if he would release the full conversation to give the remark that context, Bukhari refused to disclose the exchange. The Underground reached out to him again, while he was seated with Atwal inside the Bladen Wing’s Tim Hortons. Bukhari yet again refused to disclose the conversation’s contents until this article was published.
Atwal then accused the Underground of conspiring against him, attempting to involve a nearby student, and threatened to pursue action with the university.