Should sexuality be treated like an open book?

We get celebrities to give their take on a current issue each week and lend their perspective to a much-discussed topic.

Karan Johar’s sexuality has long been a topic of speculation and debate in the public forum. Excerpts from Karan’s upcoming biography, The Unsuitable Boy, were published recently, in which he opened up a little further about his life. “Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is,” he wrote. “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. Which is why I, Karan Johar, will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me.” His ‘confession’ was met with acceptance by some, while other — especially representatives of the LGBTQ community — panned him for not coming out in the open and leading by example. We ask people from the film industry and prominent members of the LGBTQ community, if it is fair to appoint a reluctant Karan as the flag bearer for the community, who should lead by example, or should his sexual preference be his own private business. Is he doing the community a service or disservice by keeping his silence?

The LGBT community already has several flag bearers: Sushant Divgikar, actor
Sexuality is such a personal and sensitive subject. And what right do we have to drag him out of the closet, or shame him for choosing to stay in it? A figure like him will help us reach out to the larger masses. But asking him to be flag bearer is uncalled for. The LGBT community already has several flag bearers fighting for the cause and explaining the difference between terms like gay/ lesbian, homosexuality and transgender. So, why are we pressurising Karan Johar? Why do we need to assume that the rich and famous have it easy? He doesn’t owe a coming out to anybody. We have no right to assume it is easy for him, if we have not walked in his shoes.

As his audience, he is only a film director: Anwesh Sahoo, contestant on Mr Gay World, 2016
I think it is wrong to assume that he is the flag bearer of the LGBTQ community because, very importantly, he clearly doesn’t want to be in that position. And I think it is unfair to push him to come out. As his audience, for me, he is only a director. It is completely up to him. If we say that someone with power, influence and position can help the community, then there are many other people belonging to the community, who are doing much better than KJo is. You have Harrish Iyer, Sushant Divgikar and Apurva Asrani [the writer of Aligarh] who owned up to his sexuality after the movie — why give Karan so much importance? To be fair, I don’t know if Karan Johar will come out anytime soon, but when he does, I’m sure the people supporting him will definitely outnumber the people trolling him and putting him down.

Doesn’t give us the right to question him: Ganesh Nallari, Fashion Designer
It would have been great if he would have come out about his sexual preferences openly and would lead from the front. But now that he hasn’t, however, it doesn’t give anyone the right to question him. It is his business. He is such an icon in his own way that his silence also has created waves and curiosity among people. That’s the power of Karan Johar.

It’s his personal choice and no one should have problem with it: Lokesh Kumar director of the independent Tamil film My Son Is Gay
I came across several posts that said that Karan Johar should have been more vocal about his sexuality, since it could have helped many people to come out. I’ve also heard that his act has made worsened things for the queer community. They say that when a celebrity of his stature is apprehensive about coming out, the scenario will worsen for the commoners. But, you can’t not blame him since that’s what the reality is. He could have thought being vocal would affect his films. If you look at it another way, it is his personal choice and no one should have problem with it. Personally, I respect that.

He’s adding to the already prevalent homophobia: Romal Singh, Co-Founder and Director at Queer Arts Movement, India
I think whether he wants to come out or not is his own business, but what we, as a community, have a problem with is that he’s factually wrong. He went on to say that he could possibly be jailed for coming out and that’s b*llsh*t. I can say I’m gay, I can fall in love with another man, get married to him and live with him. It’s just that under section 377, same sex, penetrative intercourse with proof can be prosecuted. Being in a position of power, a celebrity, and someone whose words hold a lot of weight, he’s adding to the already prevalent homophobia. We could have forgiven him if he was actually outside of the society and was ignorant, but this is just creating more confusion.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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