From Fire to Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: A Brief History of Homosexuality in Indian Cinema

Bollywood

From Fire to Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: A Brief History of Homosexuality in Indian Cinema

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

B

ollywood’s definition of homosexuality for most of its lifetime has been simple but problematic. An effeminate man with a dangling hand + comedy background music = gay. But in the last 10 years or so, our mainstream movies seem to have learnt a lesson or two in sensitivity.  

The industry has come a long way since 2007’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., where two married men silently yearn for each other and 2008’s highly problematic Dostana, where its two leads pretend to be gay to rent an apartment with a girl they both like. Almost a decade later, we saw Kapoor and Sons (2016), which breaks away from all the stereotypes of homosexuality. Fawad Khan plays a gay author with a secret boyfriend abroad – his sexuality is only incidental to his personality. It does not define him or make him any different from everybody else. Since then we’ve seen Karan Johar’s short in Bombay Talkies, Netflix’s Loev, and Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh.

READ MORE

Comments