Mirza, born in Canada to Pakistani parents, started dating women around the time of her father’s death in 2006. Around the same time she was transitioning out of being a lawyer, having earned her degree at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and into performing, something she’s loved since her teens.
When she came out to her family — her mother, two brothers, and a sister — they were supportive in many ways, but there was also some shock and confusion, she says. “Coming out doesn’t make sense outside of a Western context,” she says, adding that the idea of two women in a romantic or sexual relationship is foreign to some people’s experiences. She prefers to be called “queer,” she notes, although she’s OK with “lesbian.”
Mirza is closer to some family members than others; she has a great relationship with her mother, she says, but doesn’t discuss her queer life with her. “Relationships are going to be different [from one family to another], and that’s OK, not ‘less than,’” she says.