Friday, July 22, 2005

Queers Gossip

I don't care for achievers and celebrities who are ashamed of their sexual orientation and hence in the closet. Many gay men speculate about the famous, especially about actors, even getting a vicarious pleasure out of such gossip. One has heard so many names of people from Bollywood supposedly queer that sometimes one wonders if there are any heterosexual men in the film industry at all (comparatively far fewer names have been taken in the case of women; I guess, because lesbians are even more closeted than gay men).

There has been speculation about Shah Rukh Khan's sexuality for years now, and as I mentioned in my post of 19 September 2003 at my earlier blog site , India Today even quizzed Shah Rukh whether he's queer. Shah Rukh never gives a 'straight' answer to such questions and his choice of friends, roles and words and more words only fuels more speculation.

But, at least here in Mumbai, there's practically no gossip about the sexual affairs of politicians.

Yes, one has heard the occasional generalized remark about the Sangh's bachelors (so were the protests over the movie, "Girlfriend", internalized homophobia?)

The only time I heard some queer juice about powerful politicians was on a foreign junket with some journos a year ago. It came from the mouth of the editor of a language newspaper, apparently leaked to her by an intelligence source: she alleged that a young man from the services was specially flown down from Delhi to be with the Mantriji when the latter was recuperating from surgery in Mumbai. Further, Mantriji was supposed to be having an affair with a junior protege.

It was a surprise though to read two recent posts (here and here) on the same blog about some famous Delhi politicians. But then the blogger is a full-time journalist from Delhi (apparently he has moved to Mumbai recently) so he would have more access to gossip on politicians. The blogger's remarks indicate his own discomfort with homosexuality (why does he keep proclaiming his own heterosexuality?) or else he is being plain cussed.

We may gossip endlessly about famous people, but what good does it do to us, as individuals, or to the queer cause? In fact, as long as these folk themselves don't state their orientation in the media, no matter how out they are in their own society/industry/politics, they remain bad role models. Most of them are not only closeted but also married. When I first came out to my parents, outing celebs to them only seemed to work against me. Very selfishly, mom and dad would argue that if so-and-so can be gay and married, then you should get married as well.

There may come a time though when some closeted queer people, especially politicians, may actually hurt the queer cause actively, by their statements or actions. In fact the time may already be now. I would be more than happy to out the RSS chief if there was the evidence to prove that he's gay. And even happy to an extent if the following were outed: Karan Johar (it takes more to redeem oneself for a 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' than promoting 'My Brother Nikhil'), Niranjan Iyengar (who is credited with the dialogues for KHNH) and Apurva Asrani (for co-directing 'Out of Control'). Someone should plan a sting, what do you say?

15 comments:

crallspace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
K said...

Discomfort with Gayness? Me? Hmmm, slightly I think. Anyway, lets not even get started on the alternative sexuality of many of Bombay's prominent businessmen, but then again as I have said, we are a progressive nation, other than Section 377 that is.

Leena said...

incidentally, i randomly came across this queering bollywood site: http://media.opencultures.net/queer/

pretty cool, especially the khnh "remix": http://media.opencultures.net/queer/data/movie_clips/kmdkk.mpg

Nitin Karani said...

thank you for the comments.
Dan: Simply put, gayness is in the closet in India. Everybody knows about it but nobody talks about it. So it's not violent homophobia but we are prety much repressed. But then most people think we are a sexually repressed country.

K: ;-)

Leena: Yes, the KHNH remix is interesting and it has been screened in some places in Bangalore and Mumbai, including at a Bombay Dost Sunday High event last year. What I think is even more interesting is the collection of data/articles on the media.opencultures.net site. All the best for your for your Yoni ki baat events and blogs.

Anonymous said...

Niranjan Iyer has a blog here.
http://ashesinwind.blog.co.uk/main/index.php/ashesinwind/2005/07/
-vibs

Anonymous said...

I meant Niranjan Iyengar.

Anonymous said...

hey. ;-) stumbled over here. nice stuff, though a bit weighty. but i get wat u mean - i mean, who CARES whether srk is gay or not?! lol. was fun coming by. drop by my place sometime, too.

closetalk said...

ok - dat last comment was by CloseTalk, from www.talkingclosets.blogspot.com

Gay Karma said...

Hi,

Agree. What the Indian gay movement really needs next is for a closeted public figure to come out. Coming to think of it can't see that really happening. A sting operations sounds exciting....in this age of myriad electronic devices.....guess anything can be possible. What do you say ?

Gay Karma

Anonymous said...

Hey man cool stuff! Why dont you write a letter to the editor stating names and their preferences? in some widely read magazines and news papers

Anonymous said...

how are you certain that karan johar, niranjan etc are gay

Nitin Karani said...

Anon, do you need proof?

Anonymous said...

I'm married with a girl... nd I'm a gay... I feel bad for my wife... 'coz not physically but at least mentally I'm cheating her as I can never ignore cute boys..." sac :-(

Roy Sankar said...

Its about choice! If one is free to be gay, then one is free to be closeted also! I have outright asked closeted friends privately and most have acknowledged it!

Everyone has a reason for their choices in life, and I think we should respect that! Publicly outing someone doesnt serve any purpose now does it?

Nitin Karani said...

@Roy Sankar: Thanks for visiting the blog and the comment. Just to reiterate: if a closeted queer person, especially a politician, hurts the cause of LGBT equal rights, by their statements or actions, then I believe their sexual orientation is relevant to the issue and they are fair game. Don't agree?