Remember the ‘Vicks’ advertisement that depicted the story of a transgender mother and her adopted daughter? That’s Gauri Sawant. She is an activist who has made a significant contribution to protecting the rights of the transgender community. However, her success didn’t come easily. She had to and still is crossing the waves of stigmas that tries pushing her back in the pit less abyss of discrimination. Sadly, she is not the only one. People belonging to the LGBT community often face stereotypes that make their life much harder.
Today we are not here to talk about the hardship of LGBT community but about those who have broken the shackles. They are the ones who have elegantly shunned every stereotype to achieve success and make life easier for others belonging to the same community.
1. Manvendra Singh Gohil
Though India is a democratic nation, there is still a certain kind of sensation attached to those belonging from royalties. There is no denying the fact the Royals also have to follow many rules. However, this Price shunned all the traditions to come out as a homosexual man. Despite being disowned by his family, he’s continuing his fight for raising awareness towards homosexuality. He has his own charity called Lakshya Foundation that specifically works with homosexual men and the transgender community in order to promote safe sex.
2. Rituparno Ghosh
Winner of 12 National Film Awards and numerous International awards, this Bengali film director, and writer was one of the most famous personalities from LGBT community. Also a lyrist and actor, he never shied away from embracing his sexuality. Naturally, he was brutally criticized for being open about his sexual orientation but that never deterred him. Traces of the same are also found in some of the films he was associated with like ‘Chitrangada,’ ‘The Crowning Wish,’ and ‘Arekti Premer Galpo.’ Sadly, this talented creative personality passed away in 2013. His assertive attitude towards his own sexuality and showcase of same through his work made him a bearer of the rainbow flag in India.
3. Vasu Primlani
She is India’s first openly homosexual stand-up comedian. A woman of many talents, she is also an environmentalist, fitness enthusiast, and somatic therapist. This Delhi based comedian has a master’s degree in Geography, Urban Planning, and Law from UCLA. She has also received Nari Shakti Puraskar from Indian Government for her work. A survivor of child abuse, she rose above all her hurdles to make a mark in this world. Also, she inspired many to come out of their closets by embracing her sexuality openly.
4. Rohit Bal
This fashion designer from New Delhi has claimed his share of fame by designing fashionable attires for both men and women. He is an openly gay designer. Though many might say, it points out the stereotype associated with the fashion industry, but nonetheless, it brings hope for others in a country like India where being gay is no less than a sin.
5. Bobby Darling
There are many who might frown upon her name, dress or acting skills. Keeping those aside no one can deny the fact that she showed tremendous courage while embracing her sexuality. Born as Pankaj Sharma, she ran into problems with her family right from a very young age. Ridiculed and mocked at, she refused to back down and finally underwent sex transformation therapy to present her true self in front of the whole world.
Be it Hindi film industry or any other, most of the mainstream actress follows a certain standard of physical beauty that supposedly sells the movie. Here it’s pertinent to mention that transgender community is also shown in a very stereotypical role in the Indian movie industry. However, taking a giant feat for the transgender community, she became the first actress to perform a leading role in mainstream media. She made her debut in a Tamil film called ‘Paal.’ The film also stresses on the plights of transsexuals and how much they require the acceptance of their families.
7. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
This Bharatanatyam dancer is a transgender activist who became the first person to represent the Asia Pacific in the United Nations in 2008. While addressing at the assembly, she spoke about the plight of sexual minorities. She also focused on the point that people should be more human and accept those who are different from them. The people belonging to the LGBT community should be accepted as human first before anything else.
The people belonging to the LGBT community faces such difficulties that are not experienced by other Indians. While sexual intercourse is considered illegal between same-sex couples, they are also not allowed to get married. Also, not to forget that the people belonging to the transgender community are often mocked and associated with disgust. It’s 2018 and about time we improve our thinking to accept anyone as a human being first before anything else. Sexual identity of a person doesn’t change who they are, it doesn’t make them good or bad. It’s just the same as being a heterosexual.
These are few among many who are breaking stigmas attached with LGBT community. Won’t you be the part of this change by supporting them?