Bringing home the bronze, Olympians Sushil Kumar and Vijender Kumar received a heroes’ welcome in Delhi. Since securing their Olympic bling, the two have become icons to many, including the desi gay community. One such admirer is Rahul, a counsellor with a Delhi-based gay and lesbian foundation.
There’s something incredibly homo-erotic about semi-clad guys indulging in male-to-male contact. This is particularly the case when the guys involved have the rugged Jat features of these Harayana boys. A phone call from my gay Mumbai friend Parth opened my eyes to further gay icons.
He proceeded to express admiration for the hunky chest and muscular legs of Govinda. What? Forty-something film actor Govinda? I questioned. No, Govinda Pathaks, the shorts-clad boys who clamber over each other to form a human pyramid for the dahi handi ritual. Ah, now I remember, it was Janmashtami. Glad we sorted that one out. You need look no further than Bollywood to find icons of the pink rupee crowd. If the promos for Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana are anything to go by, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are about to extend their lead further as poster boys for gay India.
Their Hum gay hain… yeh mera boyfriend hai dialogue looks set to join the Kitne admi the school of memorable Hindi film lines. But it’s not just the boys who can achieve queer iconic status. Charlie Henniker has been researching the subject at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Attending the UK leg of the Bachchan’s Unforgettable Tour, Henniker observed even the Junior B’s gay appeal eclipsed.
“Shilpa Shetty stole the show with all the best music, serious pride in her performance, and her by now sustained hip-shaking. Shilpa was Arena Queen.” We know that Ms Shetty won last year’s Celebrity Big Brother, but I’m still not sure if India is aware of just how hugely successful she is in the UK.
Celina Jaitley, who is not hugely successful in the UK, or India, or anywhere else for that matter, is at least a 100 per cent bona fide gay icon. The only celeb from B-town to attend Mumbai’s first gay pride, she won the marchers’ hearts and minds.
With a string of flops behind her, it remains to be seen whether this support extends to the box office. Her latest, C Kkompany, is out today. When... I mean, if, the film lays an egg at the box office, remember Celina, the G Kkompany still loves you.