Dashing and dynamic Mumbaikar Darshan Mandhana has been crowned as Mr. Gay India 2017.
Rohan Pujari, who was the most anticipated winner, attributed to his huge fan-following, has grabbed the position of first runner-up. Saiganesh Krishnamoorthy is the second runner-up.
Darshan Mandhana is a 31 year old Human Resources professional from Mumbai. He was also the first runner-up of this competition last year (MGWI 2016).
He has carved his way through all the adversities to become an open gay person to his friends, colleagues and his conservative family. This journey has enabled him to understand the pain of being an open gay man in India and has strengthened him to stand up for who he is and what he believes in. Although He has come a long way, his roots are from Jaysingpur, a small town in South Maharashtra and that keeps him grounded.
Darshan Mandhana’s story is nothing short of a Bollywood flick. From being homeless in Mumbai to going to doctors who misled his parents implying that he could be cured, he has seen it all. “Going to hundreds of psychologists and endocrinologists just makes your life hell. Through the competition, I want to tell the youth who are struggling to come out, that it will be fine. It gets better,” says the 31-year-old who works at a retail firm.
Mandhana’s coming out confession came as a shock to his parents. “I don’t blame them at all. It was a natural reaction, but now they have slowly started accepting me, and my partner as well,” he says. After a few months, however, Mandhana came to Mumbai.
For this Worli resident, however, things completely changed when he met his partner. “We have been in love since the past four years, and had it not been for him, I wouldn’t have got the courage to participate in the pageant. For us, it’s less about the competition and more about making India a safer place for the community,” he said.
Passionate about Painting, Dancing & Swimming, He believes strongly in faith and change. His belief is that when each of us shed the hurtful labels that have kept us in the closet and start accepting and respecting ourselves, the world will do the same.
Congratulations Darshan, u were truly deserving!