With news of Karan Johar’s biography ‘The Unsuitable Boy’ causing excitement, the one subject that has made the headlines is the part where he talks about his sexuality. Having stated that the main reason why he hasn’t come out and bluntly said it, is due to the legal reasons. However the LGBTQ community have hit back stating that Johar is causing fear for those who are also still in the closet.
Mid-Day reports a Pallav Patankar, LGBTQ activist expressing, “If an uneducated person in a remote Indian village comes and tells me that they are scared of coming out, I’d take it, but this coming from somebody with a stature as big as Karan’s, I feel let down. He should be coming out as an empowered and powerful individual, and actually make a difference for those helpless people living in villages. People who were earlier considering coming out will now sit and think twice, worried that an FIR might be involved — but this is baseless. You won’t be arrested for coming out.”
The Law from the Indian Penal Code under Section 377 (unnatural offences) addresses homosexual intercourse being illegal, however does not refer to sexual orientation.
Talking about how they will always come out to support Johar, Patankar went on to add, “We have taken enough pangas for the community. Even if he ends up landing in jail, we will come out in support, go to jail along with him and stand by him, even if he doesn’t want to come out and support the community.”
The community are also upset as to how Johar has mis-communicated how homosexuals are seen in society, as Patankar expressed, “To come out is Karan’s personal choice, but he should not misinform. His present statement encourages homophobia and gay bashing to bully the LGBTQ community in private and public spaces.”
However there were some who understood Johar’s fear and concerns with being in the public eye. “When Section 377 was introduced, the extortion and ragging cases suddenly increased, as people thought that our community was scared now and could be taken advantage of. It seems like a small thing, but for someone as influential and famous as Karan, things could go terribly wrong,” a member was reported expressing.
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