New Delhi, June 11 LGBTQ+ activist, performer and the winner of 2014 Mr Gay India, Sushant Divgikar says it is "preposterous that some people think dehumanising an entire community of people is ‘funny and that it is OK to do so".
The singer and drag icon also released and featured in a music video titled 'Diamond' and has recently crossed a million followers on social media.
The influencer-activist is also known under his drag alter ego Rani Ko-He-Nur. Divgikar joined the country's singing competition, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which was broadcast on national television in 2018 the same year the Indian Supreme Court repealed the Section 377 law criminalizing homosexuality.
Having been in the entertainment space since a decade and a half, Divgikar has been roped in by corporate houses and non-profits alike to discuss equality and equity and support their respective inclusion and diversity campaigns. Using his art to break barriers and by embracing his masculine and feminine side, he inspires people from all over the world to find courage to live their life fiercely and freely. He is also an industrial psychologist.
This Pride Month, Sushant Divgikar speaks to life in an interview:
You have been an active part of the entertainment and lifestyle industry for quite a few years. Would you say the journey to fame and success is more challenging for people with non-cishet identities?
Sushant: Yes. Now that you reminded me , it's been 15 years I have been actively part of the entertainment industry. I wouldn't say one person's struggle is more or less than another's but if you see an entire section of society such as the LGBTQIA+ community, that has constantly been dehumanised and discriminated against time and time again , you will instantly realise that a queer person's life is met with by struggles and hurdles at every juncture. We need to be more mindful and be more inclusive as well as empathetic to sexual minorities and other minority groups that are glazed rather subconsciously by toxic patriarchy, toxic preconceived notions and unsettling, continuous conditioning!
Do you find enough mainstream representation of people from the LGBTQIA+ community? What are some stereotypes we can do away with?
Sushant: Absolutely not! Queer people are, in fact, misrepresented nearly all the time. We need to do better, collectively ! We have a lot of blood on our hands because of the way we have so conveniently made queer characters in mainstream pop culture and media, the laughing stock at every given opportunity. It is preposterous that some people think dehumanising an entire community of people is ‘funny' and that it is OK to do so.
One of the certain stereotypes we need to do away with is that every queer person should only be shown as overly flamboyant. Another ridiculous and catastrophic stereotype we have we do away with is queer characters made to look like their libido is constantly touching the ceiling and that they will throw themselves at every person in the room. I especially detest instances where some filmmakers have shown gay characters literally looking like sexual predators and being disrespectful and bitchy all the time.
You have released your music video 'Diamond' this year. It speaks of rising above 'labelling' and acceptance of all. What are your thoughts about the song and video?
Sushant: Yes, that's right. I thought of creating 'Diamond', along with my fellow bandmate, amazing musician and dear friend, Arthur Lobo along with our manager Niki
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