Meet the Finalists of Mr Gay India 2017

Here are the Top 3 contestants of Mr Gay World India (MGWI) 2017.  

The finale of the competition is going to be held on Feb 10 in Mumbai, where we will get our Mr. Gay India of 2017, who will compete with men from all over the world to win the title of Mr. gay World 2017, which is to be held in Spain in May this year. 

1. ROHAN PUJARI

Rohan Pujari

Rohan Pujari is 30 years old from Virar, Mumbai. Rohan works with The Humsafar Trust (HST) which is India’s first registered LGBTQ organization. He has taken multiple initiatives for LGBT rights through social media platforms. 
2. DARSHAN MANDHANA

Darshan Mandhana

Darshan Mandhana is a 31 year old Human Resources professional. His roots are from Jaysingpur, a small town in South Maharashtra. 
3. Saiganesh Krishnamoorthy
Saiganesh Krishnamoorthy

Saiganesh Krishnamoorthy just completed his Master’s in Quantitative Finance from VU University (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and shall begin work as a consultant for the cyber advisory division of a Big 4 firm from March. He also holds an engineering degree in computer science and worked in India prior to this.
The finalists were selected after a sequence of challenges given to the participants. The judges and special guests were Sonali Raut (bollywood actress and ex bigg boss 8 contestant) , Anwesh Sahoo ( Mr. Gay World India 2016) and Igor Scheurkogel (Director for Asia , Mr Gay world).Team Corniche hosted the selection event. 

Saattvic’s Inspiring Words To All Gay Men Who Are in Closet

These sophisticated words of Saatvik explain why, how and when you should come out. If you are in closet or struggling to come out, this article will definitely help you.

“Most of what you worry about is your own fear – it won’t translate into reality. For me, the consequences have been negligible. And I think these consequences are worth bearing to live a life of dignity. So, please, if you are in a position to do so, come out.”-Saatvik

“In any society, meaningful change always comes from the grassroots. It is only when the common man feels that something wrong is happening that he will ask for change. Coming out accomplishes three things. First, the more LGBT people come out, the more we become a visible section of society and eventually, a vote bank. Second, every LGBT person who comes out forces his entire network of relatives, friends and colleagues to examine and refine their beliefs about homosexuality. It is an established fact the people who know an LGBT person are much more likely to support LGBT rights, now they have someone to talk to and clear out their doubts. They can see for themselves that gay people are just like them, with similar dreams, similar beliefs, similar everything. I’ve seen many of my own friends go from mildly homophobic to completely accepting after I came out and had chats with them. Third, it rids people of the burden of having to build a web of lies around them. I have personally experienced how liberating coming out can be, and you would be surprised at how many people will actually support you.”

You don’t need to be an activist and your life does not need to be defined by being gay. You just need to do your little bit by coming out, and sensitizing the people around you. Think about it – even if 2%, or 1 in 50 of India is gay, the average person interacts with well over 50 people through his life. If even this 2% came out and sensitized people, very quickly the entire country would be sensitized.

 If enough people are sensitized, the laws will change, and society will change. This may take some time, but it will happen. When it happens, you will be able to lead a life of dignity, and the next generation will grow up in a more accepting environment, without having to endure the hardships that you had to go through.”

 

 

 

Trailer Launch of the Silent Gay Love Movie SISAK on Jan 30

India’s first silent LGBT film SISAK is a love story between two men in the compartment of a Mumbai local trains.  The trailer of this much awaited movie shall be launched by Sonam Kapoor through her twitter account on Jan 30 at 5 PM.

 

The movie is based on that whole world of cruising in Mumbai locals that no one talks about. It’s about men who are lonely and looking for love. It’s silent but beautiful and sensual.

Director Faraz Arif Ansari says, “The government have literally pulled the tongues out of our mouth. That’s why it’s a silent film. It’s about two people who want to be together, but they can’t be because of your stupid laws.”

The film is named Sisak, which in Urdu refers to the cry that’s stuck within your chest.

 Ansari felt compelled to tell the world this story. It’s that celebration of love in its purest form, that special feeling when you make eye contact with a stranger.

“There are so many silent, conversational bonds which exist in the train, and they just break off when people leave. It was then that the idea of creating a story about two men on the train came to me. Sisak was born of all these observations,” says Ansari.

Making this film was a difficult task. Shooting in local trains was a tedious task and there were financial hurdles too but the determination of the team was remarkable. With the help of WishBerry Foundation, Ansari has collected 4.25 lakh rupees through crowdfunding, and is ready to release.

Cast of the movie:

The 36-year-old Jitin Gulati plays a hot-shot corporate leader who doesn’t need to take the train, but only does it to feel that daily intimacy with a fellow man. He is having all the success in the world, but there is a hidden pain of loneliness in his heart. His love interest is a young boy, someone not as sharply dressed or successful. Played by Dhruv Singhal, a 21 year old student.

Jitin Gulati (previously seen in AMEN;, Dhruv Singhal ( 21 yr old Mass media student); araz Arif Ansari (Director ); Pritam Das ( Band Baaja Baaraat and Fan ) as sound designer;  Saurabh Goswami ( Ek Thi Dayaan ) as director of photography.

First look :

 

 

We hope the film reaches a wide audience, highlighting the struggle of the Indian homosexual community and ending ignorance and prejudice in our society.

 

 

Indian Doctors To Raise Their Voice in Mumbai Pride

Students from medical schools across the Mumbai city will join the parade on Saturday to show their support for equality.

The students will march under the banner Future Doctors for Equality.  Atleast 100 to 200 medical students are expected on that day.

This is a right step forward by these sophisticated doctors. They must be followed by those uneducated doctors, who claim that they can ‘cure’ LGBT people. There have been so many unfortunate incidents when doctor give extreme mental harassment to gay people.

tumblr_ne43iijbh11u2qjrjo2_500
Dhruv Ambegaokar (left)

Dhruv Ambegaokar is a doctor who came out while he was studying medicine and said it was important the medical profession is visible in their support for the LGBTI community. “It does give the cause more legitimacy. Myths prevail in the medical community too amongst the older doctors especially. When I came out to my parents, both of them doctors, did not know too much about homosexuality themselves. They read up and became aware about LGBT. Now, they are so cool.”

 

 

 

Preet Sharma, a second year medical student who has helped to spearhead the initiative.

“The idea germinated during discussions for the upcoming college festival for medical students,” he told Mid -Day, “We decided to focus on LGBT rights, and celebrating ability, which means showcasing the talent in the disabled. The LGBT rights focus can start with marching in the gay parade. We also want to push for employment for transgenders, create awareness about HIV amongst the community and finally, smash some misconceptions about the gay community within the medical profession.”

Mumbai Pride started on January 7 and will finish with the pride march on Saturday January 28.

Mumbai College Organizes Campaign for LGBT Rights

K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering (KJSCE), Mumbai has started a Campaign for LGBT rights under its social initiative ‘Parvaah’.

Students will conduct workshops in association with Humsafar Trust, to clear misconceptions about the LGBT community, among students and people off-campus. They will perform a short play, to create awareness regarding LGBT, in various malls, metro stations and local stations. There will be a film screening pertaining to the LGBT community, followed by a Q & A session. The Parvaah team will also be organising a pledge signing by the students on campus.

It is one of the premier engineering institutes in Maharashtra. It has underlined a need for reforming and improving overall effectiveness of engineering education.

Our country needs such progressive colleges!

When two soldiers fell in love on the battlefield of Iraq

US Army intrepreter Nayyef Hrebid and Iraqi soldier Btoo Allami fell in love at the height of the Iraq War.

Hrebid felt like something beautiful when he first saw Btoo. “One day I was sitting outside and this guy came out of the shower block. I saw his hair was shiny and very black and he was smiling. I just thought, ‘Oh my god, this guy is really cute.’ But Hrebid didn’t know that Btoo also liked him secretly.

Iraq is a highly homophobic country, so, Btoo hadn’t come out. He could even be killed for this.  Hrebid and Btoo had a chance to get to know each other when they took part in a mission to clear insurgents from the city’s general hospital. One day, Hrebid and Allami found an excuse to go outside to talk on their own.

“I felt very close to Nayyef and I felt it was time for me to say something,” Allami says, “So I told him about my feelings and that I loved him. And then he kissed me and left. It was an amazing night. I didn’t eat for two days afterwards.”

When some of the other soldiers found out about their relationship, they stopped talking to them. One of them hit Hrebid with a stick which broke his arm. They knew they had no future in Iraq. So, they decided to move to US. But being an Iraqi, it was most difficult for Btoo to get an immigrant Visa. Their appliation was delayed and rejected several times.  Michael Failla, a reugee activist helped him  to get out of Iraq. The couple got married in 2014 in Canada on Valentine’s day.

In 2015, Btoo Allami finally got an immigrant Visa. “I could not believe it was finally happening. We were going to live together in the place where we wanted to live.” They had  another wedding ceremony in the US and tied the knot in Washington State.

Today they live together in an apartment in Seattle. Hrebid, who now works as a home decor department manager is a US citizen. Allami has a green card and is due to become a citizen next year. He works as a building supervisor.

Their story has been turned in to a documentary called Out of Iraq, which premiered at the LA Film Festival last year.

“We do not have to hide. I can hold his hand when we walk down the street,” Hrebid says. Allami agrees. “It’s so different for us now,” he says. “Before we were so hopeless but now we feel like a family. It’s a gay-friendly city. I’m living the dream. I’m free.”

Although homosexuality is legal in Iraq since 2003, activists say many gay men, and some women, have died in targeted killings. In 2012, a BBC World Service investigation found that law enforcement agencies had been involved in systematic persecution of homosexuals.The Islamic State group killed dozens of gay men between 2015 and 2016 – many were thrown to their deaths from high-rise buildings

Source: BBC

The Painful Truth of Being A Gay Man in India || Saattvic

“Like everyone, I have dreams. I dream of having a husband and children, of bringing our children up together and having the same happy family that I was a part of as a child. I dream of a life that most straight people take for granted. I came back to this country with hope – homosexuality was legal, and it looked like progress was being made towards civil unions and equal rights. Now, I know even a life of basic dignity is out of reach.”

“And all this, remember, before the infamous Supreme Court judgement in December 2013. At the time I was dating a boy who was slowly coming to terms with his sexual orientation. I remember him coming to my house and hugging me and crying. He said, “All this while the one thing that had kept me going was that my country told me I’m okay. If the law doesn’t have a problem with it, it has to be correct, right? Now what am I to do? Now even the country tells me it is wrong.” What could I tell him? I felt the same way. I felt that my country had let me down.

The anecdotes could go on and on – friends being beaten up for being gay, being arrested and spending a night in jail just for attending a gay party, committing suicide out of depression.”

If someone like me, who is so privileged that his family always accepted him for what he is, who has first class degrees from the best universities in India and abroad, who has made enough money to insulate himself from the hate and bigotry, if someone like ME cannot live a life of dignity in this society, then what about those who aren’t as privileged as me? What about the next generation of young gay children growing up in a homophobic country, constantly being told that there is something wrong with them? What about those young gay men who are tortured and forced into marriage by their families? As a country, do we not want to provide all our citizens a life of dignity?

Saatvik is a Bollywood actor who sent out a powerful message to India’s gay community by coming out publicly and inspiring others to do the same and fight homophobia.

I am Gay, I’m an actor & I’ve got a message for you all : Actor Saattvic

Young TV and theatre actor Saatvik, (you have seen him in Star Plus serial ‘Everest’) has said three words, “I AM GAY” with pride, which Karan Johar couldn’t do in his book. Saatvik has written a powerful letter to all of his colleagues and gay men in India.

Saatvik had come out in the age of 20 at St. Stephens College, Delhi. Later he moved to London to have a postgraduate degree from University of Oxord. He was out and proud gay man there too. He got a well paying job as an economist. But he wanted to act and to chase his dreams, so he came back to India. Back here, he had to take one step back into the closet because he was told by insiders to hide his sexual orientation from the Industry. He was told that the audience will not accept an openly gay actor. But Saatvik realized through some incidents that he shouldn’t hide his true self from anyone and he came out; not just for himself but for all gay men of India. He explains how gay men in India have made their peace and adjusted their behaviour and dreams accordingly. But staying in closet was not his thing. Gradually he came out to everyone in his social circle. He wrote and directed a play with a strong homosexual component that was well received in 2014.

An excerpt from his blog:

“My parents have always known, and they’ve always accepted it. I’ve been lucky throughout my life to find acceptance.However, it was only the UK’s accepting atmosphere that fully allowed me to come to terms with it. There, I knew for the first time what it felt like for my sexual orientation not to raise any eyebrows at all.

The Delhi High Court had delivered its historic judgement in 2009, and homosexuality had been legal for three years at that time. Moreover, I was convinced that my ability to get roles in India would be completely unaffected by my sexual orientation.However, almost from the moment I landed, I was told by insiders to hide my sexual orientation from the industry. Casting directors would not cast you in a lead role because how can a gay man romance a woman? And so, I took one step back into the closet. I justified it to myself by saying “why must I stand on tables and shout out my sexual orientation? Straight people don’t do it!”

“But all this came to a head once when I was travelling with a troupe to Jaipur from Delhi for a play. Our make-up artist was gay and out, and he opened up to us about his struggles. A small town boy, he is effeminate, and he regularly gets abused for it. He’d had so much that he was questioning whether there was something wrong with him. As he broke down into tears, I told him that I understood, and that he had to be strong and fight the abuse. He looked me in the eye and said “you don’t know what it feels like, you have not been through it yourself.” I wanted to tell him that I HAD been through it myself, that I understood what he was feeling, but I couldn’t. And it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders at that point.”

This, and other similar incidents, drove me up the wall. It got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, and without a thought to the consequences, I started coming out to those colleagues who I had established a certain level of ease. Gradually it came to the point where I was pretty much out to everyone in my social circle.

The SC judgement turned a fairly apolitical me into a bit of an activist. I felt wronged, personally. I wrote and directed a play with a strong homosexual component that was well received in mid 2014. I performed at gay themed events. In the midst of all this, I shot for Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Everest, and did a blink and miss role in a film that most people missed, Badmashiyaan. Everest brought a little bit of mainstream popularity with it, and god forbid any of my new ‘fans’ figured out that I am gay! It would be a PR disaster for the TV show. So, I led this strange double life – my theatre was out and proud, and my screen work was old fashioned and closeted.

I also saw what this partial closetness did to the world around me. It became EXCEPTIONALLY difficult to date. I came across an entire network of ‘coordinators’ who were gay without saying it, propositioning me with the tacit understanding of subsequently giving work. I came across several actors who were gay, but talked about imaginary girlfriends. There were those who were so paranoid that they were out to no one at all. They would want to meet alone, at their place, when their flatmates were away. There were those who were married, and fulfilled their desires by sleeping with men on the side. Among the few that were out, most were militant about it – as if being gay was the sum total of their existence. Even here, stories of non-acceptance, abuse and conflict were the norm.

Many gay people have made their peace with the state of affairs, and adjusted their behaviour and dreams accordingly. They do not feel the need to come out explicitly, and I do not have any problem whatsoever with them – they are entitled to their belief systems. However, my experience here has convinced me that I need to come out.

About Karan Johar’s veiled coming out, Saatvik says, “Personally, I do not think it is my station at all to judge Karan – I have not lived his life. Karan is entitled to do whatever he wants, and I am no one to advise him about how to present himself to the world.”

“You don’t need to be an activist and your life does not need to be defined by being gay. But you just need to do your little bit by coming out, and sensitizing the people around you. So, please, if you are in a position to do so, come out.”

 

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Filmfare Awards 2017: Manoj Bajpayee Gets Best Actor (critics) Award for ALIGARH.

After winning the national award for best actor, Manoj Bajpayee, who played the role of professor Siras in Aligarh Movie, now gets the Filmfare Award Best Actor Critics Choice.

Aligarh movie is based on life of professor Ramchandra Siras of Aligarh Muslim University, who was suspended from his job after some ridiculous students filmed him getting intimate with another man. Siras was later found dead in his apartment in mysterious conditions.

Film editor Apurna Asrani tweeted, “I had lost faith in awards. But Manoj Bajpayee winning a mainstream award for playing a gay protagonist is huge for India’s LGBTQ!

Hope seeing this more actors come forward for such roles which promote human rights and equality.

The Filmfare Awards are presented by The Times Group. The awards were first introduced in 1954, the same year as the National Film Awards

Here is the complete list of those who won big at the 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards 2017.
Best Actor (Male): Aamir Khan for ‘Dangal’
Best Actor (Female): Alia Bhatt for ‘Udta Punjab’
Best Film: ‘Dangal’
Best Director: Nitesh Tiwari for ‘Dangal’
Filmfare Critics Award for Best Film: ‘Neerja’
Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor (Male):  Manoj Bajpayee for ‘Aligarh’  & Shahid Kapoor for ‘Udta Punjab’
Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor (Female): Sonam Kapoor for ‘Neerja’

Best Male Debut: Diljit Dosanjh for ‘Udta Punjab’
Best Female Debut: Ritika Singh for ‘Saala Khadoos’
Best Dialogue: Ritesh Shah for ‘Pink’
Best Screenplay: Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for ‘Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)’
Best Story: Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for ‘Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)’
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male): Rishi Kapoor for ‘Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)’
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Shabana Azmi for ‘Neerja’
Best Music Album: Pritam for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’
Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya for ‘Channa Mereya’ from ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’
Best Playback Singer (Male): Arijit Singh for ‘Ae dil hai mushkil’ from ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’
Best Playback Singer (Female): Neha Bhasin for ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ from ‘Sultan’

Karan Johar Talks About His Fear of Coming Out Publicly

“Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don’t need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this.”

With the release of his biography, ‘An Unsuitable Boy’, Karan Johar gets candid about his sexuality for the first time. He talks about homophobia he faces everyday in his life. Karan Johar says he won’t come out officially because of section 377 and homophobic bigots.

“The reason I don’t say it out aloud is simply that I don’t want to be dealing with the FIRs. I’m very sorry. I have a job, I have a commitment to my company, to my people who work for me; there are over a hundred people that I’m answerable to. I’m not going to sit in the courts because of ridiculous, completely bigoted individuals who have no education, no intelligence.”

The filmmaker also opened up about the homophobia and the daily abuse he faces on social media. He wrote, “Twitter has the most abuse. I wake up to at least 200 hate posts saying, ‘Get out, you’re polluting our nation, you’re dirtying society’ or ‘Shove [IPC Section] 377 up your arse.’ I get this on a daily basis and I’ve learned to laugh it off.

Coming Out is voluntary and personal. It’s great that KJo has come out casually. This is inspiring. But if he had come out saying, “Yes, I am gay and proud of it”, it would really make a big difference.

Karan Johar, we all love him. He has contributed so much to the Indian society by making progressive and inspirational films on love, family values and Indian culture; and also on homosexuality. But we all want him to come out publicly. Because after that, he will get more love and courage from people than homophobic abuse.

Karan Johar also needs to understand that section 377 doesn’t make you criminal for being openly gay. Yes, this is also a truth that this law empowers homophobic people and  can be used by them for harassing gay people. But it doesn’t mean coming out is very unsafe. Research says closeted people are at higher risk of violence and blackmailing in some cases. There are also those activists, who have come out, fighting homophobia and regressive laws, not for themselves but for the sake of gay community. They are more confident and happier now.

He could do better by coming out publicly. But he has shown much courage by what he’s said.

Buy Karan’s biography at: 

http://www.amazon.in/Unsuitable-Boy-Karan-Johar/dp/067008753X 

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