Raising South Asian Voices

Cynthia Dettman:  Author

Famous people in India start to come out of the closet

It’s very slow, but thanks to last year’s progressive Supreme Court ruling in India, some well known gay folks in India are mustering the courage to come out of the closet.  They face a lot of blowback, so it takes commitment and intention.

It’s particularly important for “famous” people to come out, just as in the West.  Here in the US, we’ve had many self-outings:  Ellen Degeneres,  a well known TV personality, lead the way.  Did you know it’s been 20 years since Ellen came out on national TV?  Here she celebrates!

And then we had Bruce Jennings, a well known athlete, announce and undergo his gender change.  And just as in the US, the wider public in India is very influenced by media and entertainment.

The film world is particularly important.  Indians consume movies the way Americans consume candy bars and Coke- frequently.  And when Indian TV shows feature famous people coming out gay, it certainly will influence culture over time.

Some activists are coming out in India, but coming out to parents and the family is the most difficult part of these courageous acts.

Here’s Dutee Chand, an amazing athlete and the first openly gay woman in the Indian national news.

Here’s Menaka Guruswamy and her partner, high profile attorneys who argued the successful gay liberation case before India’s Supreme Court, talking about their work and their relationship.

And some multi-national corporations are openly supporting their gay employees.

The times are changing.  Sometimes rapidly, sometimes slowly.  May the courageous ones who come out be protected from harm, and may we all learn to live and love with freedom.

1 Comment

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This is very good news. Kudos to the brave people who lead the way, thus making it easier for others to come out as well.

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