Transgenders across the country are feared and avoided only because of movie characters. As a result, they are having a hard time to be recognised as normal human beings.
The three most popular things in India are religion, Bollywood and cricket. Almost every Indian follows at least one of these three passionately. Indian cinema has a tremendous reach because it reaches millions of people.
It is difficult to fathom the impact of cinema. Celebrities are practically treated like Gods and become role-models for many.
In fact. many people dress up like their favourite actors and mimic their style. It is not surprising that they also follow the ideologies of their favourite movie characters.
The humongous power that cinema holds needs an effective medium to empower people. Hence, film-makers have a chance to make a positive change in the society. The sensibility and sensitivity of the audience, therefore, should be of prime importance for anyone who wishes to make a movie. How far is this true?
Sadly, most movie-makers see this industry as merely a money-making enterprise. As a result, most movies fail to deliver a concrete social message. It is evident in the poor way in which some movies handle important social issues like prostitution, rape, pedophilia, and matters pertaining to the LGBTQ community. Such directors fail to realise their power- the power to influence people.
What we see on the big screen remains in our mind and heart for a long time. Take the example of the LGBTQ community. Bollywood has managed to create an image for the members of this community. Unfortunately, this image is far from reality. Let us have a quick look at some absolutely cringe-worthy depictions of LGBTQ community in Indian cinema.
Abominable representation of the transgender community
Films like Sadak and Sangharsh had transgender villains. They were vile, scheming and unscrupulous. Their goal was to push women and children into prostitution . They lacked any compassion or goodwill. Thus, they succeeded in creating an image in the audience.
Transgenders across the country are feared and avoided only because of such movie characters. As a result, they are having a hard time to be recognised as normal human beings. Consequently, they are still not considered to be a part of our society. Where are films that show the human side of transgenders?
LGBTQ characters only bring comedy to the script
It is difficult to erase the image of Suresh Menon wearing pink floral shirts and batting eyelashes in several movies.It seems that his screen-time was only to sputter comic dialogues. Similarly, Bobby Darling’s roles in most movies involve only facial exercises and eye movement. Rakhi Sawant’s role as Riteish Deshmukh’s transgender patient in Masti can only be described as ridiculous, at best.
Cross-dressing men only dance and make moves on other men in movies. With their despicable pouts, skimpy attire, and overdone makeup, they make us pray for the film to end. Remember the movie Humshakals and the terrible scenes where Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor dressed as females? We have just one word- Yuck!
It is high time that film-makers start taking the LGBT community as a normal. They are not comedians or trivial people. There is no reason why they should only be mocked or ridiculed in movies.
Gay men are all horny and effeminate
Look at Abhishek Bachchan’s role in Bol Bachchan or Suresh Menon’s role in Partner. Else, try to recall that side-character in Golmaal returns (it is difficult to recall the name but his pathetic and effeminate moves are hard to ignore). Why are all these characters so similar?
Another pathetic trait of gay men, as depicted in most Indian movies, is their heightened libido. Mostly, they are all shown are horny people trying to make moves on other men. Seriously, we cannot even describe the pain we go through while watching these monotonous roles.
Perhaps all film-makers should note that not all gay men wear shades of purple and pink. Not all of them purse their lips and blink their eyes at every passer-by. This portrayal of gay men is downright pathetic and needs to stop! Let’s keep our judgemental opinion aside.
A ray of hope
Thankfully, a few film-makers have displayed tremendous maturity and sensibility in portraying the LGBTQ community. Take, for example, movies like Aligarh and Margarita with a Straw. We really appreciate the realistic portrayal of the community in these movies. In fact, movies like these make us aware of the world around us.
Knowing that members of the LGBTQ community are real and normal helps to recognise them as a part of our society. Such movies will keep the hope for the community alive, thereby creating awareness for their rights.
It is important to make movies that show their human nature and the myriad of emotions they go through. We need to see stories of inspiration, struggle, and hope of people, including LGBTQ. The correct and objective depiction of sensitive issues will surely have a positive effect on the society.
So, let’s not allow the gossamer and false LGBTQ characters in movies to create our perceptions. Getting to know about the real people behind those characters and to see their journey of life are the only ways to understand them. We have them right around us. We simply fail to see them as they are. Let us all get rid of the skewed spectacles of false perceptions and see them in true light.