an we get a ‘love is love’ up in here?
The Glamorous Bollywood industry is incomplete without a number of actors, producers, choreographers, directors, fashion designers, singers, costume designers, and other famous celebs, so it’s obvious that sexual orientations can be different.
Earlier, the entertainment industry took every conceivable measure to keep the sexual orientation of its foremost stars under wraps. However, now the movies that feature gay partners are typically rated more strictly than movies with straight characters. So, these gay celebrities have gained so much fame and success in the industry that they have a huge fanbase.
Ever since the Supreme Court revoked the Delhi High Court’s stand over Article 377, the gay community has been despairing over how to legalize their community. The law has been enforced exclusively against the homosexuals.
Homosexuality was known to be a taboo until a few well-known faces came out of the closet and spoke about gay rights and their sexual orientation.
Below famous openly gay Indian celebrities have pushed the boundaries in the arts and continue to defy what is normal and mainstream!
Director and producer Karan Johar has never officially come out as gay. However, Johar, heavily hinted about his sexual orientation in his autobiography- “An Unsuitable Boy” in 2017.
“Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is”. I don’t need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why I, Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me.”
He even praised the Supreme Court’s decision saying: “Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalizing homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!”
Rohit Verma is also a fashion designer and he confessed to being gay. Rohit Verma has appeared on Bigg Boss season. Rohit Verma hosted his fashion show ”Style Strip” on Zoom TV. He is not only a successful fashion designer but also an architect.
Every single woman wishes to wear a dress designed by Manish Malhotra. Manish Malhotra is one of the biggest fashion designers in India. He started his career from modeling but he failed to create a name in modeling and ended up making a career in fashion designing.
His unique vision makes him famous in the industry. He is the winner of many awards, but surprisingly, he is gay. He announced it later in his Bollywood career. We all know that he is unmarried and has his boyfriend.
Vikas Gupta is an Indian Television producer and creative director. Also, he has appeared on the Bigg Boss show. But, is Vikas Gupta gay? This question has been raised many times before, even in Bigg Boss. It was rumored that Vikas and Parth Samthaan were in a relationship. However, there is no confirmation on it.
Pankaj Sharma (Bobby Darling)
Pankaj Sharma is popularly known as Bobby Darling. He is an award-winning actor of Bollywood. Bobby Darling was a participant of Big Boss 1. Now he is going through a gender transformation operation. He is now staying with his boyfriend Ramneek Sharma who is a Bhopal-based businessman.
She has several times been insulted for her homosexuality. Before transitioning she appeared in the Limca Book of Records for essaying 18 roles as a gay man at just 23 years old.
Popular author and writer of ‘A Suitable Boy’ Vikram Seth revealed he is openly gay. Vikram has received several awards for his work. In 2007, the Indian government honored him with the Padma Shri, the 4th highest civilian award of the country.
Rohit Bal is a fashion designer from New Delhi. Rohit designed for both men and women. He is best known for his use of lotus and peacock motifs. He even confirmed that his heart belonged to a model named Lalit Tehlan and their relationship was strong for three years.
Rohit and his boyfriend Lalit are now in a live-in relationship for more than 3 years. They are happy and popular gay couple in Btown.
VJ Andy is a famous personality of Television, who has hosted several television shows and appeared in various films. He is a popular video jockey. His real name is Anand Kumar. Andy has also appeared on Bigg Boss season 7.
He is strongly a gay in this Bollywood industry. He himself has confessed that he is gay and there is no shame about it.
Fashion Stylist Imam Siddiqui is a popular face of Television. He appeared in the famous reality show Bigg Boss. He has confirmed himself as gay in Big Boss 6. He has a weird sense of design.
Sushant Divgikar is a model, actor, and performer. However, he is also gay and he admitted it proudly. He represented India in Mr. Gay event in 2014 and won the crown.
Divgikar praised the court ruling for lifting Section 377 said,
“Thanks to the Honourable Supreme Court! I’m so so happy and proud! All these years of fighting for our rights to be equal citizens! “I feel like a lot of other people can come out of the closet and celebrate.”
Award-winning filmmaker, editor, and writer Apurva Asrani, who is known working on successful films like Satya (1998), Shahid (2013), and CityLights (2014), is one of few openly gay men in Indian cinema.
When Supreme Court lifted Section 377, Asrani said that he felt “vindicated” by the Supreme Court’s decision. He also added,
“There is much healing that needs to happen within the gay community. Hopefully, it can begin now. Although, the law has changed but the society is still brainwashed by centuries of outdated Victorian values.”
The New York-based Indian filmmaker and journalist Parvez Sharma has been outspoken about gay rights in his work over the years. Sharma is known for his 2008 film A Jihad for Love; believed to be the world’s first film documenting the lives of gay and lesbian Muslims and his 2017 book, titled “A Sinner in Mecca: A Gay Muslim’s Hajj of Defiance.”
He has been recognized by Gay rights organizations across the world, winning a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary in 2009, and being named as a “human rights defender” by Amnesty International in 2016.
Artist, model and blogger Anwesh Sahoo won Mr. Gay World India in 2016 and went on to represent his country at Mr. Gay World in Malta, Europe, that year; making it to the top 12. Sahoo is also a TEDx speaker.
Sahoo posted on Twitter that he had tears rolling down his eyes following the Supreme Court’s decision. He said,
“I am extremely excited with the Supreme Court ruling at this point in time. We have finally been validated. The Supreme Court has finally said that we do exist, that our rights matter and it couldn’t get better than this.”
Filmmaker Rituporno Ghosh has been easily the most well-known face on the Bengali film scene. Rituparno Ghosh even started cross-dressing for some time. He passed away tragically after a heart attack.
Manish Arora is easily the most well known Indian designer internationally. He was recently the fashion director of Paco Rabanne.
Manish Arora’s creations have been worn by the fashion and music fraternity worldwide.
Fashion designer Suneet Varma has married his long time boyfriend in a civil ceremony abroad.
Shridhar Rangayan is a filmmaker who is known for making queer films.
He has directed films with a distinct focus on homosexuality. His notable works include, ‘The Pink Mirror’ and ‘Yours Emotionally.’ His representation of the closeted gay community in India has been considered ground-breaking.
Onir is a well-known director, and has directed the well-known film “My Brother Nikhil.”
Director Onir was recently involved in a controversy where actor Yuvraj Parashar accused him of trying to molest him!
He came out of the closet and embraced his sexuality leading at the frontline as a queer activist. His new film ‘Shab’ was released almost after six years and is based on homosexuality.
Ashok Row Kavi
Ashok Row Kavi has been at the helm of gay rights activism in India.
Ashok Row Kavi is the first man to publicly come out as gay in India way back in 1984, and in the over 30 years since, his life has been a rollercoaster of controversy that eventually brought him to the doorstep of the Supreme Court in 2018.
One of the most influential fashion designers alive, he has certainly made his presence felt with his ethnic wear range. He remains as one of the few celebrities who are not in the closet.
Generating immense revenues by his meticulous designs, he remains one of the most foremost businessmen in the industry. He joins the list of rumored to be gay.
Apparently, it’s becoming more and more common that a celebrity’s sexual orientation is not necessarily a career detriment like the past. Now more than ever celebrities are speaking up for LGBTQ+ communities and becoming celebrated advocates for them.
Thankfully, many of today’s Gay celebrities aren’t overly pressured into keeping their status a secret. Celebrities speaking openly about their identity and experiences can help destigmatize gay identities and boost the self-esteem of LGBTQ+ people by allowing them to see that there are successful people out there who are like them.
However, looking at the societal pressure and stereotype approach, Making a film on gay people is not the answer; they should be portrayed in a normal manner.