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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Don’t make fun of us: LGBT community tells Bollywood

Shara Huda, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 24, 2012
First Published: 17:57 IST(24/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(25/11/2012)

As the 5th edition of Delhi Queer Pride march takes place today, the Capital’s LGBT community expresses its anguish over the ridicule that it has been subjected to by Bollywood. And this, they believe, must change now. Lawyer and LGBT activist Shashi Bhushan, one of the organisers of the pride march, says, “Bollywood can portray gays a little tactfully. Films have a huge influence on masses, and if big names come out in our support, it will surely help us gain acceptance.”

Rupika Dhillon, director, SPACE (Society for Peoples’ Awareness, Care & Empowerment), another LGBT rights NGO, says it’s time Bollywood gave up its fascination for bufoonish gay characters. Referring to Rishi Kapoor’s role of a gay dean in Student of the Year, she says, “Why do you always have a comical gay character to stir up laughter? Why can’t a gay guy be dignified and intelligent?”

Mohnish Kabir Malhotra, one of the organisers of the gay parade, says, “If gay characters are always portrayed as ridiculous and funny in all our films, this is what people will believe.”

However, the intention is not to ridicule, clarify people from the showbiz. “Sometimes the script needs the characters to be that way, like Rishi Kapoor’s character in Student of the Year was not portrayed wrongly. However, the characters can be portrayed better,” says filmmaker Anees Bazmee. Some like actor Bobby Darling feel that the perception of Bollywood towards the gay community is changing. Says Bobby, “It’s a gradual change but that’s only fair because you can’t impose something on people at one go.”  

(Inputs by Robin  Bansal & Neha Sharma)

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