Justalkin Episode 6: LGBT celebs making a difference
Justalkin about LGBT celebs who are making a difference to the community, and, of course, celebrating the fact that there was a very positive judgement on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in 2018.
Gauri Sawant, who was born as Ganesh Suresh Sawant, had a childhood that was anything but easy. Though it was a struggle, she went on to form an NGO of her own called Sakhi Char Chowghi in Mumbai. She has adopted her daughter Gayatri but plans to help many more children.
Keshav Suri from the Lalit group of hotels said it wasn't easy growing up being bullied and shunned. Being from the hotel industry, he decided he needed to do something. That’s how the all-inclusive nightclub Kitty Su was born.
Vikram Seth, who is known for his novel ‘A Suitable Boy,’ is a renowned face in literary circles. His mother was the first female Chief Justice of a high court in India and has made her disapproval of Section 377 known. Seth penned a heartfelt poem about what it was like when the verdict criminalised a certain aspect of their lives, titled ‘Through Love’s Great Power.’
Manvendra Singh Gohil
Manvendra Singh Gohil comes from a conservative royal family. His family disowned him for coming out publicly but that didn't stop the prince. He set up his own charity called Lakshya Foundation that works with homosexual men and the transgender community to promote safe practices.
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
A familiar and popular face, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is a transgender rights activist. She’s an actress as well as a Bharatnatyam dancer. You may have seen her in Bigg Boss. In 2002 she became one of the founding members of the DAI Welfare Society, which works with the transgender community. In 2008 she represented Asia-Pacific in the UN, where she spoke about the plight of sexual minorities. She also started a beauty pageant called the Indian Super Queen Beauty Pageant.
From My Brother Nikhil to I Am, filmmaker Onir has used the medium to explore several issues. He won two National Awards and his film I Am also won the I-View 2010s Engendered Award for Outstanding Contribution. He’s one of the few people in the industry who is quite open and uses the medium to communicate his thoughts.
Sonal Giani is known for her pioneering work in highlighting lesbian and bisexual women's issues as well as LGBTQ youth work. She’s very vocal - she’s an activist and an actress, and she has worked and co-founded India's largest LGBTQ youth initiatives - Yaariyan, and Umang. She was also working with the Humsafar Trust, and did a documentary-style TV series called Connected Hum Tum in 2013 where she shared her real life experiences and struggles.
Ashok Kavi, a journalist, and one of the most prominent LGBT rights activists in India, is the founder and chairperson of that Humsafar Trust, which has really helped people make the transition and helped them when no one else was willing to take them in.
Shonali Bose, a film director who identifies as bisexual, is also a writer and a producer and has made movies like Amu and Margarita With A Straw. Her work has won numerous awards; a National Film award, a Bridgestone Narrative (competition) award and a Sundance Mahindra Global Filmmaker award as well.
Wendell Rodricks, fashion designer and an LGBT rights activist, has been campaigning for the legalisation of homosexuality in India for years.
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