Over the years, representation of the LGBTQ+ community in Hindi movies has evolved. From showing their struggles to just telling their stories, the acceptance of this genre of movies has increased over a period of time. Pride Month starts today and filmmaker Onir talks about its significance exclusively with The Free Press Journal.
Onir explains, “Pride month is extremely important because not only is it a celebration of queer rights but also, it’s constantly reminding us that we are far from equal rights in India. Marriage rights have been discussed in the Supreme Court so this pride month is very important. It emphasises that LGBTQ+ people should also be treated as equal citizens of India.”
He adds, “It is important to know how millions of people staying around the globe can be subjected to death, humiliation, imprisonment because of their sexuality. It was very recently that Uganda has introduced this extremely problematic law where people can be killed for their sexuality. It’s the time to support all these people while we continue to fight our own battle.”
Onir’s next directorial is Pine Cone, which follows the life of a gay man over three decades, through his different relationships. It also highlights different landmarks for the LGBTQ+ community, like the first gay pride, which happened in 1999, then10 years later, Delhi High court's decriminalisation of the same sex relationship. The movie has Vidur Sethi in the lead, and probably for the first time a Hindi film will have a gay actor playing the lead gay character.
Queer movie gems
Here’s a look at some of the best queer films in Hindi:
Margarita with a Straw:
Kalki Koechlin plays an Indian woman with cerebral palsy, who falls madly in love with a blind Pakistani girl (Sayani Gupta).
Kapoor & Sons:
A significant part of this film was about how the family accepts Fawad Khan’s character Rahul Kapoor’s sexuality.
Bhumi Pednekar and RajKummar Rao are both gay and get married to each other for society’s sake.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui:
While many movies have been made about same-sex couples, very few explore transgenders. Vaani Kapoor was seen in an unusual role as a transwoman.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan:
The movie stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar, who play a gay couple in the movie.
Madhuri Dixit Nene plays Pallavi Patel, a closeted lesbian, whose identity reveal threatens to shatter the relationships around her.