Posted in LGBT

What Pride Month means to me –

The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969.

I actually remember being in 10th grade when I first watched a movie with a gay character in it. It was a random movie I had on an equally random movie list I’d made. But it struck a weird chord with me – like one of those movies you remember for a long time just because of a small random detail. That’s what a gay character did to me. This was a time when I hadn’t even known I’d study law, and still I remember googling what rights my country gave to this community.

Over all these years, anyone who knows me knows what I feel for the LGBTQ+ community. Pride month doesn’t mean to me what it means to a lot of people. In my own little way I’ve realized that I’ve started to think of sexuality as fluid – mostly I’ve started to think that if I liked a boy being honest and caring, I’d like a girl being honest and caring too. And that is what pride month means to me. Its not a lot and its not huge but it makes me feel that I can learn to see the way other people see it. I know that over the years I’ve grown because I can vividly remember a time when I couldn’t comprehend a boy wearing nail paint, until one day I could.

happy pride month!

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Posted in LGBT, Tv Shows

Top 10 Malec Moments – Part 2

Starting off this post, I am super content to say that Malec is now engaged! I’ve already watched the proposal scene more than a 100 times and I cry every single time and I love it absolutely. Naturally, the series finale will now have a wedding, however, here I’ll just update my list as per episodes that have already been released.

6) Season 3, Episode 1: “On Infernal Ground” – Alec tells Magnus about his new job and that he doesn’t want to leave him and go. bae8654a2bb023c88a94920defd4ac98

7) Season 3B, Episode 12: “Original Sin” – Alec reminds Magnus that they need to live in the moment.

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8) Season 2, Episode 13: “Those of Demon Blood” – Alec apologizes to Magnus.

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9) Season 3, Episode 10: “Erchomai” – Magnus promises Alec that he will come back from Edom.

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10) Season 2, Episode 15: “A Problem of Memory” – Magnus tells Alec about his past and Alec tells him that there is nothing ugly about him.

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Posted in LGBT, Tv Shows

Top 10 Malec Moments – Part 1

Freeform’s Shadowhunters distributed by Netflix in India is on its last three episodes now. The show is based on popular fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare and follows the life of Clary (sixteen-year old in the books, eighteen-year old in the show), and is based in the magical world of the shadowhunters battling demons.

My favourite part of the show (and clearly the best part of the show) is the relationship between Alec Lightwood, a shadowhunter and Magnus Bane, the high warlock of Brooklyn (fondly known as Malec).

The hardest part about this show ending is thus obviously the fact that I’ll get to see no more of those precious Malec moments and this is why I have a list of my favourite Malec moments over the course of four seasons!

1)  Season 2, Episode 10: “By the Light of Dawn” – Malec Says I love you for the first time.

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2) Season 2, Episode 18: “Awake, Arise, or Be Forever Fallen” – Flashback to Malec talking in bed

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3) Season 2, Episode 6: “Iron Sisters” – Malec’s first date

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4) Season 2, Episode 20: “Beside Still Water” – Malec gets back together

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5) Season 1, Episode 12: “Malec” – Alec kisses Magnus after leaving Lydia at the altar

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Posted in books, LGBT

Miseducation: Book V/s Movie.

I’ve wanted to read The Miseducation of Cameron Post for as along as I can remember. Emily Danforth’s book talks about Cameron Post, a seventeen year old sent to a Christian Camp for conversion therapy by her Aunt in the 1980’s.

I finally read the book (and really loved it) and then I finally watched the 2018 movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz. The movie is quite good. But I’ve realized that every time I watch a book getting made into a movie, I am usually a little bit disappointed. This is my post on how Book Cameron is different from Movie Cameron.

 

The biggest difference in the book and the movie is how terribly short it is cut to. This is however expected – they cannot make a whole 400 page book to screen. The book Cameron has a really sad and depressing past that we get to experience, movie Cameron does not.

Book Cameron has her first kiss when she’s eleven years old and movie Cameron is already seventeen when we see her for the first time.

Book Cameron has a crazy summer affair with Lindsey at her swimming meet, and in my personal opinion, Lindsey shapes book Cameron’s personality in many ways and so having no Lindsey in the movie really makes movie Cameron seem very different.

My least favourite part from the movie is the fact that Cameron’s best friend – Jamie is shown completely opposite of what he is in the book. Book Jamie loves Cameron but he realizes and recognizes what Cameron wants and supports her. Movie Jamie doesn’t out her, but movie Jamie is not her best friend.

The movie ends exactly like the book ends (and that was a relief), however with the major sub-plot of Cameron’s parents’ death missing from the movie, the ending doesn’t seem as strong as it does in the book.

Despite everything, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is both a book and a movie worth reading and watching.

Posted in LGBT, Movie Review

Boy Erased (2018)

Boy Erased is a movie based off a book.
Its also a movie that I was really excited to watch.
Boy Erased is the story of a 18 year boy, who is the son of a pastor and who is sent to gay conversion therapy. From brilliant acting to a brilliant soundtrack, this movie has everything (including Troye Sivan)

The main lead – Jared – is played by Lucas Hedges and in my personal opinion, Lucas Hedges’ acting is impeccable, especially considering that his parents in the movie are played by Nicole Kidman and Russel Crowe (If I was Lucas Hedges, I would be freaked!).

The movie had two trailers before its release and I remember one of them ending with the lines ‘Stop Erasing’. This was what made me really look forward to this movie. I knew the basic story. I knew how it was going to end. But I needed to know how it was going to reach to that ending.

The movie starts with Jared’s mother dropping him off to Love In Action gay conversion therapy assessment program. Over a run time of 114 minutes, the movie depicts Jared’s life during the program with regular flashbacks of his life before the program. The movie is brilliant. There are no other words to describe it. Nicole Kidman’s acting is heartfelt and honest coupled by Russel Crowe’s acting that is equally brilliant.

There’s a part, towards the end of the movie, where Jared is talking to his father and he says,
“I am gay. And I am your son. And none of these things are going to change. So if you want to be in my life, I’m afraid you’re going to have to change.” – This is the heart of the movie.

Through powerful acting and meaningful dialogues, Boy Erased successfully gets its message across – The truth cannot be converted.

This movie is a definite must watch! 5/5 in my opinion (Plus, I cried, like always)

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Posted in LGBT

Priding through the weekend!

Two days ago, our Supreme Court passed a 495 page judgment written by a 5 Judge Constitutional Bench essentially stating this: Gay people can finally have sex with each other and not be branded criminals!

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The first thing that goes through everyone’s mind when you read this is why were gay people having sex even branded as criminals first?

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unequivocally branded adults having consensual sex as criminals and subjected them to imprisonment and fine, if the same was “against order of nature”. The Section was introduced back in 1860 and has been protested against tons of times.

In January of this year, five different people went to our Supreme Court and asked them to strike down the Section because it denied the LGBT community their basic fundamental rights.
In July of this year, the Supreme Court heard all arguments and reserved its judgement and on 6th September, the Bench passed a HUGE judgement covering tons of different aspects and laying down some very important precedents.

The judgement was passed by the Chief Justice of India (just before he finishes his term on October 2nd) along with conjuring judgments by four other judges, all of them speaking all kinds of sense. The huge judgement analyzed the meaning of sexual orientation, the meaning of individual identity and tied it all together by placing reliance on judgements from various other countries where same-sex consensual relationships have been legal for a long time.

I sat and read through the first 100 pages of the judgment (the CJI’s judgement) and can safely say that it is a very progressive judgement. Some of may favourite parts from the CJI’s judgment are these:

“As sexual orientation is an essential and innate facet of privacy, the right to privacy takes within its sweep the right of every individual including that of the LGBT to express their choices in terms of sexual inclination without the fear of persecution or criminal prosecution.”

“Biologically, the difference between a gay man and a straight man is something like the difference between a left-handed person and a right-handed person. Being left- handed isn’t just a phase. A left-handed person won’t someday magically turn into a right-handed person. Some children are destined at birth to be left- handed, and some boys are destined at birth to growup to be gay.”

The judgement has finally made homosexuality legal in India and comes as a huge, huge step towards progressive thinking. Over the years, the Supreme Court in our country has actually started passing really meaningful judgments, especially ensuring that the rights of the people in the country are not being violated.

 

 

P.S: Almost cried when I heard about the judgment + had MASSIVE goosebumps.

 

 

Posted in LGBT, Movie Review

Love, Simon (2018)

To say that I was excited to watch this movie is an understatement.

Love, Simon is based on a book called Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – I read this book back in 2016 and I clearly remember it being my 2nd favourite book of the year. Becky Albertalli’s writing is addictive and easy and fun to read. Now, since I had already read the book (and LOVED it), I was extremely, totally excited when I saw the first trailer for the movie.

The movie is directed by Greg Berlanti (the creator of The Flash, Riverdale, etc.) and stars Nick Robinson (who’s had tons of movies this year and is so cute and adorable and tall), Katherine Langford (Go Hannah!), Jennifer Garner, Josh Dunhamel (MAN CANDY), Keiynan Lonsdale, amongst others. Despite being a relatively new cast, the acting in the movie is superb.

The basic plot of the movie revolves around Simon, a 17 year old closeted boy who finds the confession of another closeted boy at their high school on their confession page of the school (thats what I think it is!) – Simon emails this boy and they start talking and soon fall in love.

The best part about the book is that there are various chapters about these emails and was they write and talk about and so you can actually feel them and see them falling in love through the pages of the book and its amazingly beautiful.

Now, if you’ve read the book (just like me!) – then you already know who this mysterious closeted guy is and that makes watching the movie even more fun along with people who are clueless!

The movie is simple and cute and beautiful and a true win for the LGBT community and quite literally, a must watch (EVEN MY MOTHER APPROVED OF IT).

On top of everything, the movie has a GREAT playlist. I’ve found some of my new favourite songs and let me just bless your life with these:
Strawberries and Cigarettes – Troye Sivan
Wild Heart – The Bleachers
Love Lies – Khalid

The movie has the cutest ending scene and a happy ending which is so very rare in gay movies (I mean, Brokeback Mountain, Call me By Your Name, etc, etc, etc)

GO WATCH THIS MASTERPIECE OF A MOVIE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY BECAUSE I’VE REWATCHED THE SCENES A MILLION, TRILLION TIMES.

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Posted in LGBT

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

I’m going to start off this movie review with four words – “Watch this movie now.”

 

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Call Me By Your Name is essentially a love story. Its a love story between 17 year old Elio who’s spending his summer vacations at his family house, and 24 year Oliver who’s interning with Elio’s father.

This movie has everything. No exaggeration. It has brilliant acting by Timothée Chalamet so much so that he was nominated for an Oscar. It has a beyond brilliant soundtrack (my personal favourites are Mystery of Love and Visions of Gideon), and it has mind-blowing chemistry between Elio and Oliver – believe me, you will cry. The movie is based on a book by the same name and won the Academy Award for the Best Adapted Screenplay (so fucking well deserved)

The movie is just over 2 hours long and is beautiful and gut-wrenching, and I’ve re-watched my favourite scenes ten times. Call Me By Your Name is so beautifully simple that it sneaks into your heart and then messes with your mind at every step. Apart from the leads, Elio’s father is played by Michael Stuhlbarg and is by far my favourite character of the movie.

I’ve seen a ton of gay romance movies. And a ton of gay characters on a ton of different tv serials. I will say this. Call Me By Your Name is by far the best gay romance movie I’ve seen in a very, very long time. Granted, the movie is a little slow and without any action sequence that usually keeps the audience engaged, but the movie is so much more. I watched the movie two days ago and I really have no words to actually describe how the movie made me feel (warm, and fuzzy and happy and sad and teary-eyed)

My favourite part of the movie is when Elio’s mother translates a story for him and his father about a love struck man and quotes the following: “Is it better to speak or to die?” – the impact that this line has on the rest of the story line is monumental and won’t let you stop thinking about it.

Posted in LGBT

GLSEN’S DAY OF SILENCE

 

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GLSEN that stands for Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network is an organisation founded in 1990 that stands against discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 schools. K-12 is basically the term used for primary and secondary education, so everything upto 8th grade.

GLSEN’s Day of Silence is a national day of action that began at the University of Virginia in 1996 in which students vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. GLSEN’s Day of Silence takes place in 8,000 U.S. schools every year and has spread to more than 60 countries. It is by far one of the most followed and without doubts one of the best movements to have still been going on.

The Day of Silence has been held each year in April since 1996. In 2015, the Day of Silence was 17th April. The next Day of Silence is on April 15th, 2016 (which is today in India).

The GLSEN 2013 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than 30% report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.
The  Day of Silence aims to help bring us closer to making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in U.S. schools.

GLSEN advises students interested in participating to discuss their intentions with their administration and teachers long before the event. Many schools allow student participation throughout the day. Some schools ask students to speak as they normally would during class and remain silent during breaks and at lunch. Other students take a vow of silence on social media. There is no single way to participate and students are encouraged to take part in the way that is the most positive and uplifting for their school.

For my part, I think this is a great initiative and will definitely go a long way in reducing all kinds of discrimination against the LGBT community and will help to develop very strong feelings of acceptance amongst kids.

TO KNOW MORE, GO TO : Day of Silence

Posted in LGBT

Can India move forward with Fawad Khan, please?

Hello people who don’t reside in India and have no clue what this title refers to!  So this is by far one of the longest posts in recent times. If you don’t have the strength/time/patience to read the whole thing, you may skip to the end, I have zero problems!

So recently(about a week ago, I think), this movie titled Kapoor and Sons, Since 1921 released here in India. The trailers all showed that it was about a typical Indian family, with two sons, an extremely adventurous grandfather, and an overly bubbly girl-next-door.

Now, the two brothers are played by Indian actor Siddharth Malhotra, and his elder brother, Rahul is played by Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Now, a few things about FK: We, the Indian crowd saw him first in Pakistani serials, (and no, Indians and Pakistani’s do not hate each other), and more importantly, FK is a god given hot bomb who whenever he comes on screen makes you want to tear his clothes off; not even kidding. See for yourself:

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ARE YOU MELTING
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Can I tear off your clothes? Thanks

So, now since I’ve hopefully got everyone’s attention, I’ll get down to the actual point of this post.

Rahul, played by Fawad Khan is a model son. He has a perfect life in London where he’s a novelist with a bestseller and a possible second on the way. He also has a perfect girlfriend, or so it seems. This is the beauty of the movie. Rahul is in fact, gay! Gay character in Bollywood? Surely enough criticism would be received for this, for obvious reasons. However, Kapoor and Sons and Fawad Khan, showcase brilliantly how homosexuality is completely normal and a part of our society.

Now, I could sit and write pages, and pages about this, but I shall control myself for the sake of anyone who reads my posts. I have also read a million articles about Fawad Khan, his character and his overall brilliance since I saw the movie. So, instead of reviewing his amazingly well played character myself, here’s what I’ll do;

  1. In his latest interview, Fawad opened up about his character in the film and raised some of the most sensible points.
    He said: “Everyone has a tendency to be gay. But this movie is not about sexuality. It is just about a family that is trying to sort out their differences. A friend of mine gave me the example of Zia Mohyeddin, who is a very famous Pakistani actor who once played the role of a eunuch in one of his films. At a time when eunuchs were mocked in the society. So it was a very bold move. Mohyeddin thought that a normal person will get interested in a movie if the content is good. That interest would get heightened if one put an anomaly in it, like the unlikely character of a eunuch in a plot.”
    India Times, March 27th.
  2. It takes a lot for Bollywood to not mess up a character or a setting with any homosexual undertones. So it is no surprise that Kapoor and Sons is making us cry out in joy for getting it right. For a change however, it isn’t just the break from mediocre Bollywood depictions of gay characters that we are celebrating. In the (never-ending) times of Section 377, here’s a film that has a completely self-aware gay character. One who is not the only point of drama in the film. But is his personal turmoil more significant than the problems the other members face? The film doesn’t judge. And that’s the beauty of it. Kapoor and Sons normalises homosexuality by portraying Rahul’s character to be just as troubled as everyone else’s in the film. A cheating husband, a jealous wife, a lonely grandfather, a lonelier young woman, a wronged brother and a struggling artist, all come together in this film to rid Rahul’s story of stigma. We are all dysfunctional and far from perfect, the film seems to say, while establishing that imperfection is okay. Not once is Rahul Kapoor called “gay” or “homosexual”. And with zero labels, Kapoor and Sons showcases his character in the most human way. And yes, that is indeed a feat worth celebrating.
    Catch News, March 22nd.
  3. Sorry, I am not exaggerating when I say Fawad Khan is absolutely perfect, from his jawline to his brooding looks. Even if you are a dyed-in-the-wall Dawkinian atheist, his very existence will make you wonder if there’s a higher being. Surely, evolution, a random process, couldn’t come up with a creature this divine. It’s not just his acting in the movies. A female buddy described a chance encounter where she couldn’t stop gushing about everything Fawad, from his perfect sartorial sense to the way he pays attention when someone’s talking.
    But this isn’t about Fawad the person, it’s about his role in Kapoor and Sons. For too long Bollywood has helped perpetuate the worst clichés about gay people, as if a limp wrist and a career in fashion designing are prerequisites for homosexual men. Speaking about Fawad’s role, filmmaker Karan Johar said, “His energy in Kapoor and Sons is so magnetic. I have to say that he took up a role which many actors were worried to do, but it takes a brave man to play a brave part and brave part to make a brave film.” Fawad’s portrayal will go a long way in reinforcing that being gay is just like any other arbitrary characteristic trait like our skin colour, hair colour, height or weight. That gay people are just people and that doesn’t make them any less of a brother or son. It’s impossible for anyone who saw the movie to come away thinking that being gay is some sort of aberration or a crime, particularly in that scene where Fawad says to his mother when coming out: “How can I apologise for being me?” Think of the impact this will have on every family which comes to the theatre. If nothing else, it will help start a conversation. It is worth remembering that Fawad Khan comes from a nation where, like in India, it’s illegal to be gay, but looks far more harshly towards LGBT rights, refusing its existence and where a combination of Islamic and colonial laws make life very hard for the community.
    DNA, March 26th.
  4. When Rahul’s mother discovers he’s gay she breaks down and wonders what she’s done to deserve a son ‘like him.’ This is an opportunity to push an intelligent message and Kapoor and Sons seizes it. It’s an all-too-real tableau that many gay men in South Asia are forced to enact. In the absence of informed, non-judgemental conversations about male sexuality in mainstream Indian media and in the home it’s plausible that gay men of Indian origin abroad find it easier to keep questions of marriage at bay with vague mentions of entanglements with foreign women rather than with open admissions of gayness. Fawad plays a gay man minus the cliched camp that heteronormative Bollywood typically saddles gay characters with. The effect is that Kapoor and Sons places Rahul’s personhood before his sexual orientation, allowing him the complexity films so often deny non-mainstream characters. Fawad Khan playing a gay man is a game changer not only because his star power will draw attention to the difficult negotiations of being a gay man. What’s really key in his accepting the role is that Kapoor and Sons challenges notions of ‘ideal’ masculinity by casting a popular sex symbol as a gay man.
    Images Dawn, March 20th
  5. First, muster your Bollywood GK to picture a man called Rahul Kapoor in a mainstream Hindi film. Here’s what you see: a straight north Indian man, chasing his lady love down gardens and dance floors with one song too many. He also breaks a nose or two now and then to remind his audience that he ticks off the ‘protector box’ in the ‘ideal Bollywood man’ checklist. Now meet Rahul Kapoor in Shakun Batra’s Kapoor & Sons. Suave, soft spoken, the peacemaker in the family, perfect and gay. Rahul’s sexual orientation in the film is one of the many subplots in Kapoor and Sons, almost like that one story of the many stories that make up a real family. The life Rahul, played by Khan, leads in the film closely mirrors those of many gay men I know. It’s not one that could be called a double life by any measure, but one, in which various aspects of it have be kept at a distance from each other.
    The Huffington Post, India, March 22nd.

If you read all of this, or even a small part of it, THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HERE’S YOUR REWARD

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Don’t tell me you’re not going weak in your knees

There’s no knowing how India and it’s people will progress after Fawad Khan and his flawless character gets accepted by the community. However, there is no denying that India needs to move out of it’s stereotypical approach towards the LGBT community and move more along the lines of the developed nations of the world.

In all honesty, if you read this, thank you so much because even some of my bestest friends are homophobic and there’s probably zero people who would ever stand up for the LGBT community, and by reading this I sure hope people begin to change just a tiny miny bit.

If you didn’t read this, and just skipped to the last line here, at least have a look at the pictures.