Over the years, mainstream Bollywood hasn’t won any props for its representation of the LGBTQIA community. Predominantly transphobic and homophobic, the industry is known for its trashy and offensive comments.
1. The “Munda Sadda Gay Gay” song in Dostana
Just this entire song, the caricature acting and the whole ‘faking’ being gay was so insensitive and misrepresentative that we can’t believe this film was a hit.
2. Shocked Kanta Ben in Kal Ho Naa Ho
These two grown-ass men are found in bed together by a traditional Gujarati aunty, who literally goes into shock. Why? Is she that homophobic? And we’re supposed to find this funny? She doesn’t even get called out for her homophobia by these two straight men who are ‘just having fun’.
3. This song in Humshakals where the characters were trans for comic relief
Honestly, this movie got mental illnesses wrong and literally everything else. What was this song even, can someone please explain.
4. When Govinda’s character dressed up as a ‘gay designer’ in Partner
What better way to show that you are a ‘harmless’ designer than to dress up in flamboyant outfits, call everyone darling and pretend to be gay. Sigh, these tropes are just getting boring and silly.
5. This strange ‘Mumma I want Gopal’ scene in Golmaal 2
Cis men dressing up as women by putting oranges on their chests for ‘comic relief’ is one of the oldest crimes against the community that Bollywood has been pulling.
6. Every single Rishi Kapoor scene in Student of the Year
Of course, the only openly gay man in this film wore flashy clothes and leeched onto the football coach – who was visibly straight and only gave him attention cause he felt bad for him. Why have a gay character in the first place if you aren’t going to give him a fair storyline and only use him to perpetuate stereotypes?
7. The various crimes against trans folks that were committed by Housefull 4
As one character says,”Iske gender ka tender nahin hua” and another says, “Operation kaun karaega, tu ya main? Bachhe toh karne hai na.” – a dialogue that a cross-dressing Johny Lever (supposed to be the reincarnated version of a woman) says to Chunky Pandey (his husband in his last life) – we can’t help but feel disgusted by this transphobia. These dialogues are regressive, insulting and so insensitive that maybe we should be censoring them.
8. This joke in Prem Aggan that was completely unwarranted.
“Tumhara naam Jay Mehra nahi Gay Mehra hona chahiye,” is a dialogue that we all remember and shudder. The entire existence of this character was just so the ‘bold’ female lead could crack this ‘joke.
9. Everything this Isha Koppikar and Amrita Arora starrer film, Girlfriend showed about relationships.
One of the first Bollywood films about a same-sex relationship between women, yet Girlfriend misrepresented to an extent that we still are waiting for a decent movie, years later.